You’re excited to start a new role and don’t bother reading each line of your employment contract. You are probably too elated to resume because of the pay, or other motivations, Half the time, it’s because of the pay. To avoid stories that touch in the future, we’ve come up with 10 common terms that you would usually find in a contract of employment that you might not be patient enough to read. Let me lawyer up a bit

1. The Parties

It’s essential to identify the parties to the contract since the contract is between you and the company. Your employer is usually regarded as “the company”, and the employee is tagged as “you”. The semantics might be a bit different, but I hope you get the drift.

2. Notices

This section describes the process of serving notice to the parties, including by mail, email, or other, and when notice is assumed to have been received.

3. Governing law and Jurisdiction

This refers to the law governing your employment contract with the company. For instance, as a Nigerian, The Nigerian Labour Act is the law that primarily governs the relationship between employers and employees in Nigeria. If you want to sue your boss, you know where to go.

4. Termination/Notice Period

This section defines how the contract may be terminated and the notice period required to be given by either of the parties.

5. Probation

Some contracts of employment indicate the probation period. This period gives your employer ample time to access your fitness for the role. The probation period is like a trial for a role and as such do not come with all the contractual benefits of a full-time staff. For one, you can be dismissed without recourse to the standard notice period. In practice, a probation period is usually between 3 to 6 months.

6. Benefits

This is one part of your contract your eyes should not skip. The benefits section highlights the perks that come with your role. Benefits can be health insurance, pension and paid leave.

7. Dispute Resolution

The process for resolving disputes is stipulated in some contracts. Some contracts restrict dispute settlement to arbitration or mediation.

Restrictive Covenants

Restrictive covenants are elements in a contract of employment meant to protect the company’s trade interests. It is inserted into a contract depending on the type of employment. Some restrictive covenants are:

8. Non-compete Clause

This is just the company trying to protect their business interests by inserting the non-compete clause in your employment contract. The non-compete clause prevents you from working with your current employer’s competitor for a specific period of time, usually 1 to 2 years.

9. Non-Solicitation

It prevents employees from soliciting or simply put, poaching customers or partners of the company after leaving the company. This clause presents you from attracting for business purposes clients of your current employer after your contract has ended.

10. Confidentiality

Some of you have literally broken this part either knowingly or not. All those “we have this mad product we are launching soon” kind of gist that you share with your friends outside work might be in breach of this clause. The confidentiality clause means you should keep trade secrets and proprietary information you see in the course of your work private. Don’t be deceived, there are no insignificant contract terms.

We advice that whenever you receive a contract, don’t be in a haste to sign it. It’s okay to take your time to read the contract terms on your own, but it’s best to send it to lawyer for a thorough assessment. Some employment contracts can be ridiculous.