5 things to consider before signing an employment contract
Employment has a different face for everyone. Some are employed, some self employed, some come with strict contracts, and some come with awesome benefits. Here are 5 important things to consider before signing with your next employer or contractor.
First of all – are you self-employed, or are you an employee? CRA has a guide for determining your status, click HERE to view it.
- Type of Contract: The nature of your job might make it self-evident, but make sure that you know what type of contract you’re signing whether it’s as an employee of the company or as an independent contractor. There’s advantages and disadvantages to both especially in terms of pay and tax deductions, so make sure you and your employer are getting what they want and need out of the contract.
- Compensation and Benefits: Obviously, this is the most important part about being employed – getting paid. Make sure you know what the company’s compensation structure is and that all aspects of it are detailed in your contract (bonusing, how changes to benefits are made, pay deductions, etc).
- Moonlighting: If you’re used to being self-employed, but have now been offered a job as an employee somewhere, you need to check whether your new employer will allow you to do side-projects / have a part time job. Recently, four firefighters in Ontario were put on trial for misconduct because they volunteered for their hometown fire departments in addition to their full time jobs. Their union saw this as “double-hatting”, and even though it was done with the best intentions, the accused could be reprimanded and removed from the union. Always ask your primary employer about secondary employment when you’re unsure.
- Company & Union Policies: Know your company’s policies, as well as the Union’s (if applicable). Be informed and know your company and union policies on copyrights/inventions, post-employment restrictions, confidentiality, vacation, termination, promotion, etc.
- Review & Ask Questions: Never sign anything you don’t fully understand. Take your time to review the contract and make sure to ask questions if anything is unclear and ask for more time if you need it. Don’t feel pressured to sign until you completely comprehend the terms and what they mean for you.
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