Congratulations, you have been offered a job. The next step is important because as soon as you are offered a position you should be sent an employment contract. It is not recommended to start a job without some form of contract. There are some points that you should check out and understand before you sign it.

Type of contract

This is likely to be fixed term, sometimes with the possibility of renewal/extension, or open-ended.

Job title and responsibilities

Firstly, check your job title is correct. Then look at outlined responsibilities and what your employer can and cannot require you to do. Some job descriptions are broad and that is quite normal as it gives the employer flexibility to ask you to take on other work especially in a changing work environment.

Place of work

Recently people have been getting jobs across a wide geographical area. In some instances, they are not living near their workplace. If working remotely at home is a possibility and something discussed, then it should be stated in your contract. It may also state if you will be required to work a minimum number of days a week/ month in the office in person.

Salary and benefits

Check that your contract outlines the salary especially if there was some negotiation and when you will be paid. Also check for benefits like pension, car, private health care, share options and even bonuses. If these are based on targets, then an understanding of the objectives and how they will be met needs to be outlined.


This may include shift work and if you are required to work weekends or evenings. Also check if you are being asked to ‘work the necessary hours that the job entails’ and if so, what is expected. Also check if you are required to do overtime and if you will be paid for this work.


Check how many holidays you get a year and if this includes public holidays and when the holiday period runs from, e.g., a calendar year or differently, e.g., from 1 August to 31 July. Is there any time in the year when you are not permitted to take a holiday due to work demands? Is there any entitlement to roll over days from one year to the next?

Notice period

Check that it is not a long period of time. For most graduates it is usually one month and can be up to three months. A long notice period can hamper your chances when applying for your next role.

Restrictive clauses

These are usually to protect the employer around competition, confidentiality and intellectual property so must be read carefully as it may negatively affect your next job. For example, there may be restrictions on working for competitors for a certain time after you have left.

If you are not happy with any clauses included in your contract then speak to your new employer to discuss making amendments or for clarification.