30 Hidden Loopholes To Watch Out For When Starting A New Job

By Tom Pearson 1 month ago

Hours You Start

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When you go to sign your contract, make sure you check, check and double check the hours you are due to start work. You wouldn't want these hours to change without you knowing as you could be docked wages or made to work back the time you missed in the morning.

Lunch Break

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Some companies will actually pay you for the time you spend having lunch, whereas others will make you take an hour of unpaid time for lunch. See if you can reduce the amount of time you spend at lunch if possible as you will have more time for working.

Mid Work Break

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Some businesses get super busy throughout the day, meaning grabbing a break can be a bit tricky. Make sure that a break is specified into your contract, and if it isn't then you need to be compensated for this. If you miss your break, you should be paid.

Meals Provided

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If you work somewhere like a cafe or a restaurant, then your employer might offer you a meal, either as a one off or on a regular basis. If you have to work late, then work should pay for you to order a meal so you can stay later to work in the office.

Where You Work

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The location of your work is normally set in stone if you work somewhere office based. However, if your work involves something like sales, then your work environment may change frequently. Check this and factor in any unexpected and sudden travel costs.

Work From Home

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Working from home, especially on a Friday, feels like a real treat. If you are able to work from home, that is great, but make sure the pay covers the increased cost of gas and electric. Make sure your employer gives you everything you need to work from home too.

If You Will Need To Travel

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If you need to travel, then you should think about the costs this is going to bring. Your fuel usage will go up of course, but adding miles to your car wears it out faster, meaning you will need to do more services and oil changes and get new tires more.

If Travel Is Paid For

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Make sure that you keep every single receipt from the gas station, as you can use these to claim back the costs of fuel. This is pretty much industry standard, and most employers will pay you back the costs of any travel that you do for work reasons.

If You Will Travel Abroad

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For whatever reason, if your job requires you to catch a flight anywhere, then this needs to be subsidized. Work need to pay for not only flights, but hotels, food and travel to and from the airports. It doesn't need to be five stars, but should be decent.

How Long You Will Be Away From Home

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For many people working away for a long period of time is just part of the job, for example if you work in the army or if you work on an offshore gas rig. You need to check how long you will be away from and ensure this time frame does not change too much.

Night Shifts

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For some folks, doing the graveyard shift hits the spot. The roads are quiet, you can do your shopping early the next morning or late at night, and you don't generally have too much on compared to the day shift workers. If it's not for you, check your contract.

Changing Hours

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Having that level of flexibility to change hours as and when you please is a luxury, and if it was something that you were promised then make sure it is in black and white. Earning back time, or working overtime to have free days off is great, so try and secure this.

Hour You Leave

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No one likes to stay at work until 8 or 9pm, especially if you start early in the morning or need to get up early for work. Sometimes working late is just something you need to do to catch up on work, but check that it is written down that you get paid for this time.

Short Notice Leave

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We are all in the same boat when it comes to this one, sometimes life just gets a little hectic and for one reason or another you need to leave work at the drop of a hat. Make sure there is no loophole in your contract that will have you penalized for this.

Work Life Balance

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The balance between working hard and having fun is a tricky one to master. If you go too far either way then it can negatively impact your life. You need to make sure your contract doesn't take away from your time off and allows you to have a good rest.

Work Phone

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If you need to use a mobile phone for your job, then you don't want to be the person footing the phone bill. You should either have work pay for all of your calls, including personal calls, or have them pay you for a work phone that you can take with you.

Answering Emails After Work

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No one likes working after work, but imagine if you were forced into it! Working from home is fine, but it can be a little hard to switch off when you need to, and if work are forcing you to answer work emails at all hours of the day then you need a new contract.

Work Vehicle

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A work truck or van is perfect if your job is mucky or messy. It means you don't end up getting your own cars interior dirty or broken, and you don't really need to care for a fleet vehicle as much. If your job is in construction or similar, get a work vehicle.

Colleagues

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A new set of colleagues is always a difficult thing to wrap your head around, it is like starting school for the first time all over again. You don't want to be constantly paired with new people, so make sure no loopholes mean you will get swapped around.

Picking Up Slack

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Picking up the slack during a busy time or when you get new co workers is something that just comes with working. You don't want to get stuck in a position where you always need to be doing this, as it will impact your own work and any promotion chances.

Dealing With Clients

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If you need to work at the front of house and deal with clients frequently, then chances are you will be wearing a work uniform. Ensure the uniform is paid for by the employer, and make sure they give you multiple. You don't want to wear smelly clothes.

Dealing With Complaints

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People screaming and shouting at you is never nice, so make sure that your pay reflects the hard task of resolving complaints. Your contract should not pin you into a lower paid role, but levy you with the responsibility of being the company whipping boy.

How Many People Are On Your Team

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You want to make sure that your team can cope with the workload, otherwise one person is going to get stuck doing a lot more whilst others slack off. Make sure that you go onto a team or business with a set number of staff to ensure you don't get overworked.

Pay

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Your pay should always be rising as your skills and experience increase. The pay levels should go up in line with inflation, as well as a little extra to reflect your experience. Make sure regular pay reviews are included in your working contract. If not, it may not be the job for you!

Overtime

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When you need a little bit of extra cash, then working a few hours of overtime can be really handy. Some companies offer you extra pay, sometimes at a higher rate, whereas other businesses give you the time back. Either is good, but make sure one option is available.

Bonuses

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A yearly bonus, particularly around the festive holidays, is always a morale booster. If this is something that you have been guaranteed by your new boss, don't just take their word. Get it written down and make sure you see that bonus check coming your way.

Discussing Pay

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Some people find it a little awkward to discuss pay, but it shouldn't be seen like this. Discussing your pay with the boss is an employee right, and you are also free to discuss your pay with other employees. This is the law, and your boss can't stop you.

Promotions

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With a promotion comes a new job title, which mostly involves a higher rate of pay. This is great and a real way to move up the company ladder, so make sure that promotions are actually on offer. You can normally confirm this at your job interview before you start.

Pay Rises

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A pay rise means new things to aspire to. If your contract has a loophole which prevents your pay from going up, then you need to find a new job. Basic items like food and clothing are becoming more and more expensive, so a pay rise is an absolute must.

New Bosses

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Getting a new boss can either be a god send or a real nightmare, so you do not want to be chopping and changing bosses every other week or month. Make sure there is no funny loophole that says you will be getting new management ridiculously frequently.