Pivotage Consulting

Hey!!! Give That Job Offer Letter A Second Look Before You Sign Off On It

Often times, the pressure of joblessness makes the anxiety to get a job so high that applicants often sign away their lives, finding themselves feeling ‘boxed-in’ between the choice of leaving an unsatisfying job and the fear of losing the semblance of security which the job tends to offer over a perceived inability to find another.

A recruitment exercise comes to an end after an offer has been made to and is being accepted by a successful candidate. The offer represents a contract stating the conditions under which the employment is being offered and this becomes binding on you and the employer upon the appendage of your signature.

The offer letter contains in it, vital information on the expected benefits that comes with your job and the employer’s expectation from you, conditions for termination and your eligibility status for stated benefits.

This makes it imperative that before you append your signature on that paper, take time out to review the content of the offer and possibly discuss it with a more experienced person; preferably a lawyer or HR personnel, as this represents the basis of your stay or otherwise in the firm. It also to a reasonable extent shows the pedigree of your hiring organization as the contents of your offer letter is suggestive of the standards with which your potential or soon-to-be employer operates. Standardized organizations usually allow you ample time to reflect on the offer before affirming acceptance.

Important points to note when reviewing your ‘Job offer letter’

Usually, one area of significant interest for new hires or successful candidates in their ‘offer letters’ is the ‘Gross pay’ (the total salary before deductions), often assuming this to be the take home; however, there are a lot of things embodied in it that are being overlooked. Below are some of the primary things you should look out for on that offer letter.

  1. Net pay– A net pay is your final take home after all statutory deductions have been made on your salary i.e. the pay you get credited with in your account.
  2. Pension– This is an obligatory contribution deduction that is mandatory for you and your employer. A certain amount is taken out of your salary into your Pension account and your employer also pay a certain percentage monthly into your pension account. This leads us to the next deduction from your salary. Please note that small companies with less than 5 employers are exempted by law for pension contributions.
  3. PAYE– ‘Pay As You Earn’ or Income Tax is the responsibility of all employers to deduct at source i.e. from their employees salary. Taxes deducted are then remitted to the appropriate tax office. Employees can request for their tax certificates at any time from their employers.
  4. 13th Month– The 13th Month salary and additional incentive pay that amounts to the employee receiving (usually double or about one half of his/her salary for the month of December (which consists of the December pay and the 13th month).

Note that not all organizations pay this, however, for those who do, it is an indication of a concerted effort to conform to established global standards. It is usually stated in your offer letter if the company pays 13th Month Salary. For some, it is calculated as half of the basic salary while for others, it is equivalent to a full month salary.

  1. Bonus/Profit SharingProfit Sharing is an arrangement between an employer and an employee in which the employer shares part of its declared profits at the end of the year working calendar with the employees. As payment under a profit sharing plan, employees can be given stocks or bonds, or cash. This in a way to motivate the employee to be diligent in their duties and loyal to the employer.
  2. Lunch Provision– In some organizations, they make available a meal (preferably lunch) to their employees while on duty. Some also make provision for light breakfast such as tea, coffee and sandwich etc. These are believe to be some perks employer use in attracting talents and some other benefits too.
  3. Leave Allowance– A worker is entitled to Annual leave/Vacation , some employers pay a certain percentage from your salary as leave allowance and while for some, it is not paid. During your leave period, your monthly salary will still be paid in full.
  4. Health Insurance– this is a medical cover that gives employees access to adequate and affordable healthcare provided by their employer. It is the duty of the employer to provide care for their employees. This is usually a standard welfare provision for most worthwhile organizations.
  5. Notice Period– This is the time within dropping a letter of resignation/dismissal to the employee’s last day at work. It will be stated in the offer letter what is obtainable for every organization, it could be 7 days, 2 weeks or 1 month in most cases. In violation of this, a month or week salary is to be paid in lieu to the employer.

From the listed above, a successful candidate should take into cognizance of what is stated in an offer letter before signing it because once you do, you are bound by it to your employer. Binding yourself to unsatisfactory conditions of employment and feeling ‘boxed-in’ is the surest way to demotivate yourself and this not only affects the employee, but also the employer as the employee’s productivity is adversely affected severely.