You may have heard a radio ad campaign which is on at the moment for a new current account with one of the leading banks. The offer sounds fantastic, cash back to the tune of 10 cent on every transaction when you use your card.
Sounds too good to be true, but hey, why not, sounds like a good deal to me.
Then it gets to the good bit, mentioning the Terms & Conditions, which is now mandatory in regards financial advertising. The terms are as follows and make interesting listening; there is a maximum limit of €5 back per month for using your bank card.
OK I can live with that but what is the maintenance fee? The maintenance fee is €4….. I’m no financial genius, but does that not mean that you must bust a gut to make 50 transactions on your card (because you want to get as much back as you can), with 50 transactions you will get €5.00, but then they take €4 back for fees, leaving you with €1? Eh, on second thoughts, no thanks, you can hold on to that one…….
But it did make me think about T&Cs in general, and in my line of work, I am dealing with them consistently. When it comes to a job offer, I will always tell my candidates not to resign until you see and agree to the contract. A company would not expect you to accept a role without knowing the key points, the role, the salary, annual leave entitlements, bonuses etc. A verbal acceptance is just that, verbal. An employer does not expect you to be 100% committed until you review the terms of your contract.
To be fair, the majority of businesses offer very standard terms of employment, but you are giving up a lot to move and you do have to think long term. This is an informal information piece, but to be truly informed please visit the following for more formal information regarding your contract of employment http://www.citizensinformation.ie/en/employment/employment_rights_and_conditions/contracts_of_employment/contract_of_employment.html
Here is a summary list of Clauses to watch out for:
I have been caught on this one, especially the last day of the month…. That is a killer, so if it is the last Thursday or Friday of every month, happy days! Weekly or fortnightly, again, check because you might have to move some things around bill wise. When will you get your first payslip after joining and what is payroll cut off?
. I could do a full piece just on working hours, so I will just highlight the key points. A contract must state your working hours, but it is how they state them and break them down is the key. Is it a 40-hour week or 36.5 hours? Are these rigid set hours or are they flexible? If they are flexible, what are the core working hours? In regards overtime, are you paid or do you accrue time off in lieu (TOIL), and again what are the terms?
Do 30 days mean 30+ Bank holidays? Be realistic in regards holidays as typically you get 21 days, plus the 9 bank holidays (ROI). Check do you need to keep holidays for Christmas or will the company grant “Company days” for the days the office is closed? Check if you are restricted from taking holidays at certain times of the year?
If you are entitled to a bonus, say up to 20% is brilliant. That does not mean you will be getting a guaranteed 20% bonus on top of your salary, typically it can mean that you will start to accrue your bonus after 6 months (standard probation period), and payment will be applicable within the financial year. So ask about the timeline, what is the financial year and what portion of that year will you be joining them in? It is also subject to your performance and that of the business. So in reality, if the business is not making money, then you mightn’t either…..No one goes into a job thinking about their exit, but while the employer has made sure they are protected if you leave, you should make sure you are too. Typical clauses to check are:
What is your notice period? Typically it is in line with your payment terms, so if you are paid weekly, then it is usually 1 week. However the norm is 1 month and can go up to 3 months. How you give notice is in there too. This can work to your advantage when a business does not want you to see out your notice, you must be paid in lieu of this notice.
, these typically arise if you are moving to a direct competitor. If you are in a sales roles or if you are more senior in the business, and there is a threat of bringing information across with you. Check what restrictions are in place if you move, and how long are they enforced for? Restrictions can include clients worked on or won during employment; they can restrict by jurisdiction, or by specific product.
these typically come up in the case of a signing on bonus, or relocation. They can also be applied for professional exams or memberships. Check the terms and be prepared to deal with the fall out, should it materialise.
Finally, if you are using a recruiter, please consult them regarding terms of contract.
If not, please brief yourself fully via the link below.
Best of luck with your new role!