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Graduate Series: Part 2: Check these out before signing on the dotted line!
POSTED BY FARAH RIZVI-HAMMOND
Friday, August 14, 2020
Are you a Graduate Job-seeker? Here are some of the Terms to look at closely in your Employment Contract:
Show me the Money: Are you getting paid a Salary to work permanently | permanent part time | Shared billing arrangement | Contractor arrangement? These need to be crystal clear and should include salary, superannuation, KPI’s, Performance bonuses, KPI review dates and anything else to do with your remuneration package. Check there is nothing left to a hand-shake agreement. Get accounting and legal advice as needed.
Relocation: Moving for work? Check if you get repaid a set amount regardless of what you spend | All your relocation expenses are covered on presentation and approval of receipts | If there is some other relocation clause that might affect you. Are there any repayment clauses? For instance, if you don’t work for a minimum period of time, you may be required to return the relocation allowance.
Probation Period: How long does this last and what is the break-up clause, ie how much notice does the Employer or the Graduate need to give if either party decided to terminate during the Probationary Period.
Work arrangement: Permanent | Permanent part-time | Contractor? Hired as an in-house employee | Self-employed, external Contractor? Check as it affects your tax rate, insurance liabilities (especially your Workers compensation, public liability and professional indemnity clauses), your net income and what you can claim back on your personal tax.
Leave: Do you get standard leave | Rostered Days Off (RDO’s)? What about sick leave | Unpaid leave | Carers leave | Compassionate leave and any other kind of leave? Is leave loading included?
Hours and Days of work: Check that you’re not being expected to work an unreasonable number of hours a week and that Fair Work Australia guidelines are being adhered to.
Travel: Do you get paid a set rate per kilometre | Do you have access to a pool car | Do you have to pay up-front yourself and then claim back in tax at the end of the financial year | Do you have access to a company credit card which you use to pay all travel expenses | Do you get a set travel allowance? What about parking – do you get a spot or not? Check.
CPD contribution: It’s best if any Professional Development | Further study expectations | In-services and contributions are written into your contract, especially if the employer is going to make any contributions towards your training
Other benefits: Phone, laptop | Tablet | Gym membership | Extra employer superannuation contributions | Social events paid for by the employer etc.
Harassment and bullying: What is their policy?
Phone use policy: Can you use the company phone for personal use | Do they expect you to maintain a separate, personal phone? What happens if you lose or damage the phone – are you liable or does their insurance cover it?
Social Media and Internet use Protocol: Be aware and adhere to this – period.
Big Brother: Is your employer able to access your work emails and anything else on any work device? Be alert but not alarmed.
Hand-cuffs: You might not think these are important when you’re signing your first contract, but non-compete timelines are important for when you are job-seeking again. Get legal advice on your employment contract – it’s your job therefore your responsibility to do so.
Notice period: 1 week or 3 months? Check that it is in line with what your work arrangement is. Again, check now to prevent any issues arising in the future.
Start date: Make sure that this takes into account your notice period with your current employer with maybe a mini break in between roles. This way, you don’t finish one job on Friday and start another one on Monday. Be kind to yourself.
Once you’ve checked all clauses and policies, have gotten appropriate advice and are happy with your Employment Contract, sign away! Congratulations on your new job Awesome Graduate Job-seeker.
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