by Kaley Cook, of CGFNS International’s Alliance for Ethical International Recruitment Practices
This is a blog series from the Alliance for Ethical International Recruitment Practices covering the top questions and concerns that can arise in the recruitment process. You can visit the Alliance website for more information or contact firstname.lastname@example.org with questions.
Your employment contract is an important document that contains information that can affect you and your family’s lives for years. It is important to take time to read and understand all of the information inside any contract before you sign it. The following are the top three questions the Alliance recommends asking when you are reviewing your employment contract:
Did I receive a copy of the contract and was I given time to review it?
You should receive a copy of your contract and be given adequate time to review the document before signing. Understanding what is included in your contract is critical, as misunderstandings can lead to larger issues later. No recruiter should be pressuring you to immediately sign. Instead, you should expect to have multiple days to review the contract on your own, or with an attorney.
How long is the contract’s duration?
Some contracts will list the duration as a specific time frame (for example: 36 months) and some will list the contract duration in the number of hours worked (for example: 4,100 hours). It is important to understand how your contract duration is calculated and how other factors like orientation and time off can affect your overall contract length.
What happens if you leave your contract early?
Leaving a contract before the duration ends is called, “breaching”, and it can have many implications. Most contracts will include information on how much notice is required and list any fees that would be due if you leave your role – sometimes referred to as ‘breach fees.’ Breach fees are common and can have a significant financial impact, so it is important to understand their amount and how they are calculated.
It is beneficial that both you and your future employer understand your contract before you sign it. Recruiters and institutions should be willing to answer all of your questions and give you adequate time to review your contract and/or to consult with an attorney.
More questions about your contract? Take a look at the Alliance Health Care Code or reach out to email@example.com. If you are still looking for a recruiter, visit the Alliance website for a list of Certified Ethical Recruiters that have successfully completed our application process and have agreed to additional ethical oversight from the Alliance on these issues.