4 factors that candidates should consider:

Planners - we have all met them– people with a 5-year plan. You might even be one yourself.  This type of strategic thinking may mean that candidates consider leaving their next role before they have even signed their contract.

1. Notice Periods

The industry will probably dictate the normal notice period for any role.  Some employers will follow the statutory notice period - one week for every year of service up to a maximum of 12 weeks. 

The majority will have a short notice period during any probationary period that extends to one month, or usually three months in an executive role, once the probationary period has been successfully completed.

In a service contract a six month notice period would be the most usual.

If you’re thinking strategically then a short notice period may be preferable if the role is likely to be a stepping stone. Or, a longer notice period may offer the opportunity to receive a payment in lieu of notice or a period of gardening leave when the employment terminates.

Of course, employers can insist that you work their notice period, but this may not be ideal if there is a risk to the business.

2. Restrictive covenants

An employer may insist on restrictive covenants that prevent you from working within the industry or for a competitive business for a set period or from soliciting customers or staff. At Monaco Solicitors, we are often surprised when our clients don’t know if they have any post-termination restrictions in the contracts, but the savvy, ambitious candidate will have given this some thought.

It is rare that a candidate would negotiate out of the restrictive covenant unless it is for an interim role as this will be a major turn-off to the Company. 

However, as a candidate, you may be aware that overly restrictive covenants may not be unenforceable if they go further than protecting the employer’s legitimate business interests and would prevent the employee from plying their trade.

3. Plus Benefits   

They have negotiated on the salary and then it’s time to look at the small print.  The benefits can be the major reasons you decide on one employer over another. A generous Short Term Incentive Plan might offer the chance of a lucrative bonus within 12 months of employment. But the Long Term Incentive Plan will offer significant value and expect you to buy in for at least three years and have various requirements to ensure that if they leave that they leave on good terms.  

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4. Other Benefits

Employers will often give good chat about flexibility and work/ life balance, but the proof will likely lie in the parental leave policies.  Enhanced maternity/ shared parental leave provision will be a big spur to the planner. An employer who offers more than the statute requires will be very attractive for anyone thinking about starting a family.  Employers often offer parental rights on the extending basis so the longer you are employed the better you are paid during any period of parental leave. It is a good way to retain staff long-term.

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