New job, new you

New job, new you
26 May 2021

From job interview to signing on the dotted line…

10 tips to help you get on the right side of the law, right from the start of a new job
  1. At a job interview, remember that your potential employer cannot ask you any questions that might discriminate (show prejudice/bias) against you.
  2. Make sure that your working hours are within the legal limits.
  3. Find out if you are expected to work overtime, on Sundays, at night or over public holidays, and if so, how you will be compensated – either in money or time off.
  4. Make sure that you are given a one hour meal interval for every five hours worked.
  5. Ask your employer what leave (annual/ sick/ family responsibility/maternity or paternity) you are entitled to:
    • Check with a Legal & Tax lawyer that the amount of days are in line with the legal requirements.
    • Check what the rules are in terms of providing a medical certificate when you take sick leave.
  6. Ask your employer whether there is a trade union representative at your work.
  7. Find out what specific rules for conduct are expected for your job.
  8. Ask your employer how he/she will protect you from any health and safety concerns that you might have.
  9. When you start a new job, your employer must give you a written contract containing:
    • The full name and address of the employer.
    • Your (the employee’s) name and a description of what work you have been hired to do.
    • A list of the places you are expected to work.
    • The date your job starts.
    • How many hours and how many days you are expected to work.
    • How much you will be paid.
    • What you will be paid for overtime and any other payments (such as allowances) that you will be given.
    • How often you will be paid.
    • Any money that might be deducted from your wages.
    • What leave you are allowed to take.
    • How much notice you need to give your employer if you want to resign.
    • Information regarding bargaining council or sectoral determinations (specific rules that apply to specific kinds of work).
    • A list of documents that make up the contract of employment. The employer must also state where the employee can get a copy of these documents.
    • A note must be made if work you have done previously counts towards time already employed by the company.
    • If any of these details change, this must be recorded in writing.
    • If you struggle to understand the written information, your employer must explain it to you in a language that you are comfortable with.
  10. Your employer is also expected to put up a notice that lists your legal rights at the workplace.

This notice must be in the languages that are spoken at your workplace.

Remember that in order to make sure that the requirements (demands) of a job are fair to you, your best companion is a Legal & Tax Lawyer.

(This article is provided for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. For more information on the topic, please contact the author/s or the relevant provider.)
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