If I ever start a blog on personal finance, one of my first articles is going to be titled “Get Your D**ned Employment Terms in Writing”.
Here is why. I’m registered for a few Israeli professional women’s lists with a very high Anglo (English speaking immigrant) contingent. Every few weeks, someone will write in to say that she started a new job or is about to start a new job and she hasn’t gotten anything in writing confirming the terms of her employment. In some cases, the writer thinks everything is okay because her first salary looked to be correct. Other times, the employer has reneged on something promised. The stories vary but the question is always the same: Is this okay? Is this just how things are done here?
No. It’s not okay. It’s flat out illegal.
So, you! Employer! Maybe you are a relaxed sort of guy or gal. You think that the world has become too bureaucratic. Contracts and lawyers and paperwork. Who needs all that? A handshake and conversation should be enough! You are just too busy and too important to be bothered with this. And besides, if nothing is written down, why, no one can hold you to anything.
In the words of the Dread Pirate Roberts (aka Farmboy, aka Wesley), get used to disappointment. 🙂
By law, you are required to provide your employees with a minimum level of documentation confirming the terms of their employment within 30 days of their starting. The information to be provided is set by law and includes the key terms of a person’s employment, such as title, job description, salary, hours of work, benefits, and other similar items. The statutory version of this form can be found here. Just fill it out, sign off and pass it to your employee and you are good to go. Make sure you save a copy for yourself and give yourself bonus points if it is scanned and filed in a way you that can find it later.
If you have already signed an employee off on a full-blown employment agreement which includes all of the required terms (in addition to far more protection for the company) you do not need to also fill out the statutory terms notice.
For more on this law, including a list of the items to be disclosed, see here.
P.S. As an aside, the link to the Princess Bride clip was probably not entirely necessary, but seeing how that is my favorite movie, expect more clips in the future.