When signing up for a new job, the employee contract can be daunting at the best of times. It includes many terms and phrases that some may find difficult to understand. There are many types of employment contracts including permanent employment, temporary employment, seasonal employment and contracted employment contracts. Employees must agree to the terms when they accept the job, unless they negotiate in advance. Terms typically include elements such as areas of work, holidays, pension, salary, company policy and termination.
Citizens Information is a great source for employees, especially those who are signing contracts for the first time. Their website hosts useful information about employment in Ireland including this link to key ‘Terms and Phrases’ https://www.citizensinformation.ie/en/reference/checklists/checklist_glossary_of_employment_terms.html.
Some terms and phrases included in an employee’s contract:
- Agency worker – an individual who is employed by an agency
- Breaks – brief duration periods, for a stretch, cuppa or rest
- Career break – agreed time from career, unpaid, to care for personal responsibilities or undertake education. Some organisations offer to pay employees during this time
- Duty of care – by the employer, to ensure the workplace is safe and promotes wellbeing
- Employee permit – an employment permit is required to work in Ireland for most EEA Nationals
- Freedom of information – employees are entitled to access government records, under the FOI legislation (freedom of information)
- Grievance procedure – complaints that require immediate action, and once highlighted there is typically a pre-determined process to work through, for a satisfactory outcome
- Holiday – paid annual leave including public holidays
Remember, if you’re unsure, contact the employer or HR personnel to query any items on the contract content if you are unsure. They will respond, and answer any queries, and there may be opportunity to negotiate. For additional support, phone Citizen Information Service on 0818 07 4000 Monday to Friday, 9am to 8pm. Before signing the contract, ensure that the contract contains what was agreed, and that it is dated and signed by both parties. “It is impossible to un-sign a contract, so do all your thinking before you sign” – Warren Buffet. Once the paperwork is completed, you can start to enjoy the next chapter of your life, in your new career!