Congratulations ! you have been selected for the job after strenuous 3 rounds of interviews. So all that is now left for you is to receive the employment offer or contract before signing on the dotted line.
So what are the top things to focus on before you sign the employment contract ?
Job Title and Responsibilities
Job titles vary from company to company. A Sales Manager, can be have a Sales Leader, Assistant Sales Head, or a Sales and Marketing Manager title. It is important to ensure that the title matches the job description. Not all sales managers, manage a team, nor do all Relationship Managers only support and not sell. This is important because it defines the scope of what your exact role is. It must also ensure what title is possible and what is not (based on the company trade license or structure in most cases). Make sure you have read the job description well and understood its responsibilities, and KPIs. Ask questions and clarify your doubts (if you have any)
Place of Work
Find out your fixed office location from where you would be based. It would be good to clarify the geographical coverage of your responsibilities and how much travel (if at all) is applicable. You may also want to find out WFH or remote work options should the need arise. You may also want to find out a course of action or repercussions, should there be a transfer to another country, which you may not be able to accept.
Salary and Benefits
Make sure your employment contract clearly includes all salary and benefit options. Remember, if it is not written in the employment contract, it is not there. Verbal commitment is not be part of a guarantee or contract. Every financial aspect must be included, whether fixed, variable or future increment. Check if bonuses are guaranteed, discretionary or performance based. If based on performance, there should be set conditions that are to be met. You need to ask what they are.
Do not agree to a contract that does not have working hours. Employees in the UAE are protected by laws on working hours and overtime. Most positions will require your consent that working hours may extend beyond the stipulated time depending on urgency and work load and this is mostly followed. Check for flexible working hours or work from home hours should there be a family emergency. Also check if you are being asked to “work all the necessary hours that the job entails”, and if so what is expected. You may want to find out if you are entitled to overtime pay.
You may not be able to take holidays at the time of your choosing, so you should look out for the following:
When would you be able to take your annual vacation? Can you split this into 2 parts? How early must you apply for sick or annual leave and what is the approval process like.
Whether you could be prevented from taking holidays at certain times of the year.
Whether there is an entitlement to carry forward unused holidays into the following year.
A non compete clause or notice period would be most common clauses that you would need to ensure better understanding. If your notice period is 3 months, you need to be aware of difficulties in new employment in the future since most companies accept 30 days notice period. It would be best to understand the possibilities or consequences should such a situation arise.
You may also want to discreetly find out if and what action the company has taken with past employees in the event of breach of a no compete clause.
For sales roles, any personal clients you introduce to your new employer may become integrated into your employer’s own client base and form part of your restrictive covenants when you leave, unless your contract says otherwise.
All the best with your ne employment contract.