do I need a contract?(3 Posts)
A small business (currently just 2 people) who have previously done work for me in my capacity as a middle manager in a large organisation, wish to employ me. Together we have worked on and agreed a job description and pay package, which I've asked them to give me formally in writing.
Does a signed job offer on company letterhead which I countersign to accept constitute a contract? Or should I ask for a "proper" contract laying out all the terms and conditions? I've only ever worked for large organisations before and have typically just had an offer letter - but they have always been places which had standard terms and conditions available which apply to all staff. I don't think this organisation has had an employee before and I'm going to have no idea where I stand with things like notice periods, sick leave etc - but I feel if I bring stuff like that up it will be seen as trying to be unnecessarily difficult.
Whether a letter is sufficient depends what's in it. There is a minimum requirement that employees must be given a written statement of particulars which contains information like pay, hours, work location, holiday, notice etc etc. Most employers put this information into a contract and include more as well, but that's the basic minimum.
I would not agree to work for a company without sight of the terms and conditions in the form of a contract, and I would also suggest that any company who thinks someone asking for a basic requirement is being difficult is definitely not a company it would be sensible to work for.
I agree with flowery. You need to know the terms and conditions before saying yes to the job offer. They're as important as the job description and pay package that you've already agreed. What they are may well impact on your job satisfaction, work/life balance and finances. A smaller company may have limited resources and less generous t & cs than a larger organisation. It's also possible that because it's a small team, there may be higher expectations of flexibility, cover etc from you.
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