Well, September is here along with a flood of new I.T. requirements after the lull of the “Summer” vacation period. We’ve been getting a few for other Caribbean islands too. So if you’re interested in viewing opportunities, check out our listings on the right side of this newsletter.
Just reminding you again to re-subscribe to this newsletter with your new email address, if it should change.
Also, please put our email address firstname.lastname@example.org in your address file so our newsletters are not rejected as unsolicited mail.
Have you Checked your Employment Contract?
Have you GOT an employment contract? To someone in a first world country, that may sound like a silly question. Here in the Caribbean there exists a type of employment that is called a “contract” but doesn’t actually involve any written agreement between the parties.
This situation may well be illegal and it certainly exposes the employee to an abuse of his/her rights to redundancy payment, maternity leave, injury compensation and other benefits required by law. In addition, if the employee is working as a permanent employee, then the employer is breaking the law if statutory tax deductions are not being made to the employee’s salary.
If you are going to start a new job, insist that you get a written agreement on the terms and conditions of your employment. I have come across many people who have felt so unhappy and insecure with their “contract” employment that they were willing to earn less salary elsewhere so long as they could acquire bona fide permanent employment.
So what should you expect to see in an employment contract? It should have the company’s name, address, the date of the agreement, and the employee’s name, address, job title, duties and date of starting work. It should state the salary and all benefits including vacation days/year, stating when they become effective.
It should state the place of work and the normal working hours, the probation period and the required notice period. Typically, there would be a statement of the company’s policies regarding confidentiality, substance abuse, dress code, etc.
A contract to provide services is quite different from an employment contract for permanent staff. This would usually be a lengthy legal document defining the nature of the work and various conditions pertaining to the work being provided and to recourse should there be any damages or disagreement between the parties.
The same information given on an employment contract will also be provided in a contractor’s contract, together with extra details such as the actual length of the contract, scope of works, deliverables, notice period, payment terms and rates or fixed price for the work.
Never do any paid contract work without some form of written agreement, even for your friends or family. Believe me, things can go spectacularly wrong and the contract is what you will turn to in order to resolve any dispute. You want to get paid for the work you’ve done and your client may decide not to pay you. Having an agreed contract will help your case and shows that you are a professional.
If you agree a fixed price for the work, then you should negotiate that a percentage is paid before you start work to offset the risk of not getting paid at all. Once the job is done, then get your client to sign a Work Accepted Form to prove that you delivered as agreed.
Not having any signed agreement at all makes you very vulnerable. It is also advisable to document and cost each and every change requested by your client so that you have clear evidence of what you were expected to deliver and the reason for any project overruns.
You can download standard employment forms from the Internet, some for free such as at http://www.ilrg.com/forms/#employ
Tell Us What You Think
Letters to the Editor:
Why don’t you offer tips to the interviewee as well??????? … Kris
(referring to issue 2.13 – 10 Tips for the Interviewer)
We did so in Issue 2.4 – The Magic Wand, see http://www.crsitjobs.com/Newletters/CRSNews-The%20Magic%20Wand.html
We will do more tips in the future…. Ed.
The organisation I worked in previously was actually able to survive hurricane Ivan in Grenada and be back up and running because I insisted on them having off-site backups. Almost all their computers were soaked including the servers, but the data was backed up regularly and kept off-site. However, a lot of the paper documents were rain soaked.
In all of the places I have worked management seems to forget that the majority of their business is paper based and stored in regular filing cabinets which are not fireproof. I.T. is always expected to have a “disaster recovery plan” and the other functional areas of the business are forgotten.
So if disaster does strike, unless the business is fully digital, having a tape library would be useless in getting the company up and running if most of the critical data was stored on paper. I think it is imperative that management in any organisation be made aware of these pitfalls… Dwight
(referring to issue 2.12 – Waiting for a Disaster)
I hope everyone is taking heed, especially after what has happened to New Orleans. My niece was living there for the last 4 years and has lost her car, her computer and all her belongings, and of course, her job. If you want to help the victims of this disaster, check out http://www.redcross.org/index.html and http://www.continental.com/onepass/oDonateMiles.asp?camp=2004_email_ofop … Ed
We would love to hear what you think of this issue of CRS News. And of course, if you have any suggestions for upcoming issues that you would like to share with us, please send those too.