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Pay Attention When Signing Your Employment Contract

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It's finally time! After an exciting application process you receive the redeeming phone call telling you that you got the job. Very good, come on with that contract! There are nevertheless some points that you should pay attention to when you're offered an employment contract. We give you a few handles, so that you're well prepared and you don't bother yourself. After all, you're stuck with it for a longer period of time.

What does an employment contract say?

An employment contract is a contract between two parties: the employer and the employee. The agreement stipulates that the employee performs work for the employer in exchange for wages or wages in kind. But there is much more to the employment contract. In any case, note the presence of the following points:

  • Your name and place of residence;
  • The name of your employer and the location of your work;
  • Your job title;
  • The date on which you enter service;
  • The duration of the agreement;
  • Number of working hours per week;
  • Probation;
  • The amount of the salary;
  • Number of vacation days;
  • Cao;
  • Pension plan;
  • Notice period;
  • Other company regulations (travel costs, bicycle plan, etc.)

Fixed or indefinite?

There are two types of agreement: a fixed-term contract and an open-ended contract. An open-ended contract has no end date and shows that you're permanently employed by the company. With a fixed-term contract it's a bit more complicated. It's clear that there will come a time when the employment contract ends. The moment at which that happens depends on what has been agreed with the employer. A contract can in principle end at the following three moments:

  • On an agreed end date;
  • At the end of a project;
  • For another event, such as when an employee has returned that you have temporarily replaced (for example, during maternity leave).

Duration of the probationary period

Some people know how to sell themselves well during a job interview. But an employer really knows what kind of meat he has in the tub when the new employee comes into service. The contract can be terminated during the probationary period to prevent him from finding a cat in the bag, or when it appears that the employee doesn't fit well into the team. This applies not only to the employer, but also to the employee. Does the job not seem as fun as expected? Then thanks to a probationary period you can terminate the agreement within a short time and without giving a reason.

Different rules apply to trial times per contract type. Do you immediately get a contract for an indefinite period? Then you'll get a probationary period of a maximum of two months.

Things are different for fixed-term contracts. An employment contract that lasts a maximum of six months has no probationary period. With a contract of six months plus one day to two years minus one day, a trial period of one month may be used. An employment contract that runs for two years or longer may have a probationary period of two months.

If there is a contract that ends with a certain event (such as the return of a sick employee or the completion of a project), then a probationary period of one month applies.

This information can be deviated from in the collective labor agreement. The probationary period never lasts longer than two months. A probationary period only applies to the first employment contract, unless there is a major change in the work and you take on a new position.

Notice period for fixed-term and indefinite-term contracts

The type of contract may be important when you terminate your employment. A contract for an indefinite period usually states what your cancellation period is. If this isn't stated, you can consult your collective agreement. If you also don't have a collective agreement, you can start from the statutory notice period of one month.

Do you have a fixed-term contract and would you prefer to work elsewhere? Check in the employment contract what cancellation period you have. Usually this is a month. Do you not have a notice period in your employment contract? Then you'll have to wait until the contract automatically ends automatically - unless you're still in your probationary period. After all, the contract not only provides security for you (wage guarantee), but also for your employer (guarantee that the work will be carried out).

If you still want to leave before your contract ends, you can only do this in consultation with your employer. It can of course also happen that you're required to broadcast your contract. Most employers will often not do this, because they prefer not to employ unmotivated employees.

However, keep in mind that he may demand a fine if he agrees with your dismissal. This amount is based on the number of months that you should still be employed under the employment contract. This can amount to a maximum of six times your monthly salary. The employer may also demand a different amount if it appears that the company is demonstrably damaged by your departure. In these cases you'll have to deal with legal proceedings before the subdistrict court judge.

For example, if the contract lasts for a year, you can indicate that you want a cancellation period to be included in the agreement.

Competition clause or relationship clause?

When an employee has announced that he wants to work somewhere else, it will also be equally exciting for the employer. Because where are you going to work? With the competitor, to subsequently hijack all customers? To prevent this, employers like to use a non- competition clause . You may then not perform certain activities. This can be linked to a specific location, but also within a set time period. This considerably limits your options on the labor market. With the new labor rules, a non-competition clause can only be included in a contract in very limited cases. If an employer is nevertheless afraid that his customers are being hijacked, he can prepare a relationship clause. You may not approach his relationships for a certain period.

If an employer is more concerned about business secrets, such as valuable strategies, a confidentiality clause can be included in the employment contract. If you don't adhere to the relationship clause or the confidentiality clause, you can pay a hefty fine. So don't think about this too easily and be aware of what you sign.

Rules for incapacity for work

Also take a good look at what has been arranged in case you become incapacitated for work. Although you would rather not think about it, it's something that you should consider.

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