Tips when starting a new job

It is important when you start a new job to get an employment contract in place before you start working.

  • It can keep you safe during the "new entrant" period and will ensure that you receive the treatment and rights you deserve.

  • It is advisable to get your employment contract checked by a lawyer, your union or someone else you trust before you sign it.

  • Some companies put staff on a probationary period of up to three months, but if this is to happen, it must be in the employment agreement, not done verbally.

  • There should also be a document about what the agreement is if the employee does not work out in the probationary period.

  • If you are having trouble in the job, talk to the employer - they are under obligation to do the best they can for their employees.

  • Issues should be raised as soon as possible by both parties - employees are entitled to warnings, performance counselling and advice.

  • If there is something specified in the employment agreement that is not being provided, the employee can insist it is followed up on or an alternative is negotiated.

  • During the beginning phase of a job, it is important to decide whether the job is suitable for you and whether you can fit in with the culture of the new work environment. The employer can require the employee to build relationships as part of job performance.

Remember for queries and difficulties in a job it is always possible to call upon your union but, if there is a union delegate or someone else you trust at the worksite, try them first and you may be able to solve the issue directly with the employer.