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When starting a new position it is vital to the future relationship between employer and employee that both parties fully understand the relationship that they are entering into. The most common cause of a workplace dispute in the first year of employment is a misunderstanding over or different interpretation of a contractual term. Both parties usually enter into the contract with good intentions but when the time comes for the realisation of a benefit or the payment of a bonus, the employer and employee may well have different views over what was agreed at the start of the contract and even different opinions over the meaning of clauses in the contract.
By instructing the employment solicitors at Canter Levin & Berg, you can ensure that you get the best deal possible legal representation in any negotiations that take place with your new employer. We can advise you on the contractual terms of your new employment including any benefits, bonuses and share options you might be entitled to as well as advice on remuneration.
Two of the most common topics that a person starting a new job might choose to ask an employment lawyer about are the Bonus Structure of their new employer and the exact nature of any restrictive covenants included within their new contract of employment.
Bonus structures can often be complex documents held externally to the main contract of employment but having direct and significant contractual effect in the remuneration of an employee. It is not uncommon for employees in the financial services sector to enjoy bonus payments well over 100% of salary and bonus payments to executive board members of AIM and FTSE listed companies are often up to 100% based upon the performance of the business.
Since the peak of the financial crisis in 2007/2008, many top businesses have decided that rewarding success should be the aim of an employment contract, hence the increasing prevalence of high percentage bonus schemes as opposed to a high level of guaranteed remuneration in the form of a basic salary. Bonus schemes increasingly utilise share options or shares themselves as rewards. This trend makes it even more important for employees to take legal advice at the beginning of employment as financial planning for an employee and their family can depend upon fully understanding the nuances of a particular bonus scheme.
It is essential that an employee understands the obligations he undertakes when entering employment and how those obligations effect his or her position when leaving. The vast majority of employment contracts signed by middle to high ranking employees contain restrictive covenants. It may not occur to an employee at the start of the relationship to pay much attention to conditions that will apply after employment has ended. However, it is important to understand what the effects of the covenants are, whether they are enforceable and how they may impinge on future ambitions.
We have a great deal of experience when it comes to providing legal advice to people who are starting employment, or who might be negotiating terms of a contract with a new employer. Our employment solicitors have been providing advice to employees for over 30 years and in that time they have seen and dealt with most employment scenarios. We offer up to 10 minutes free initial legal advice over the phone, so call us now on 0151 239 1000 or fill in an enquiry form on our website and one of our Employment Solicitors will call you back.