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Building guarantees into a contract?

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Cadete2019
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Building guarantees into a contract?

Postby Cadete2019 » Tue, 15 Jan 2019 5:24 am

Hello,

Are there any standard or generally accepted ways to build guarantees into a contract? For example, doing away with probation period, asking for a minimum 12-month term and payment in lieu for the reminder of the 12-months if notice is given at any time before that, asking for a large sum in the form of starting bonus (which is only to be paid back if I resign early)?

I'm a senior level contractor in Europe currently in a very lucrative, "job for life" type of contract which I've been in for years, and likely will be for many more (of course i realise anything can happen). I'm being offered a far more lucrative opportunity in Singapore which I'm very interested in, but naturally I'm afraid of losing what I currently have (which is very hard to find) if this SG gig doesn't work out or ends early. If the SG gig was to be terminated early say, after 6 months or even 12 months then net/net I would be worse off, even if the pay is 100% more than my current. I need some kind of a contractual guarantee that i'd be paid at least say 18 months at the newly agreed salary and then be on a 3 or a 6 months notice in order to justify taking the risk. Has anyone heard of something similar or is it just pure craziness to expect something like this and if I'm not prepared to take the risk then I should stay put? How might an SG employer structure an agreement to give me the peace of mind of walking away from something really good?

Thanks in advance

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sundaymorningstaple
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Re: Building guarantees into a contract?

Postby sundaymorningstaple » Tue, 15 Jan 2019 9:16 pm

Most Singapore employers will give you anything BUT peace of mind.

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Strong Eagle
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Re: Building guarantees into a contract?

Postby Strong Eagle » Tue, 15 Jan 2019 9:58 pm

You can put anything into a contract that the other side agrees to. It's all going to boil down to how valuable you are perceived to be. I have seen top sales producers, CEO's, and other "power managers" negotiate very attractive terms into their packages.

You are being offered a "far more lucrative" gig than what you have now. Perhaps this tells you something... this is the enticement... and you want more... you want your "far more lucrative" gig to be guaranteed. I don't think you'll get it but why not try?

Why won't you get it? Because packages often offer one of two things... security... or lots of dough... the two rarely go hand in hand. You'll have to choose... unless you are a great negotiator.

Cadete2019
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Re: Building guarantees into a contract?

Postby Cadete2019 » Tue, 29 Jan 2019 9:23 pm

Hi, thanks for your replies.

The employer suggested that a permanent role would offer more stability than a contract role.

Is that really the case in Singapore? From what I read, you can get rid of an employee for no/any reason. So what is really the advantage of a permanent vs contract role?

Also, i've seen some job ads in Singapore saying "2 years contract" - what does that mean if there is a 4 weeks notice period that can be invoked at any time for any reason?

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Strong Eagle
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Re: Building guarantees into a contract?

Postby Strong Eagle » Tue, 29 Jan 2019 11:19 pm

Singapore is the ultimate in a "right to work" state. That means that a worker can be fired at will, with no reason, no excuse, no nothing... unless... the worker has an employmen contract.

Note: Lower paid workers are covered under employment law... we're talking about professionals here.

Therefore, in the absence of governing employment law, virtually every permanent job is done under an employment contract. These contracts usually specify termination periods and processes for both employer and employee. A two year contract means that you are bound by the T&C's for two years... if the contract states you need to pay the employer $10,000 to quit, that clause becomes null and void after 2 years.

The whole thing really is kind of a joke, and you've got these "permanent" two year contracts because far too many Singapore employers think this will give them a leg up on controlling/screwing the employee when renewal comes about. For me, and for a lot of MNC's, at least, you sign an indefinite employment contract, just like most other sane countries.

I don't really see much difference between a contractor and employee in terms of the ability to sack someone... it's all in the contract. The differences arise in fringe benefits like medical insurance, retirement plans, and holidays, and if you are SC or PR, payment of CPF by the employer.

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Re: Building guarantees into a contract?

Postby Cadete2019 » Wed, 30 Jan 2019 12:49 am

Thank you again.

This confirms what I thought.

In the end this opportunity didn't work out because the company didn't agree to provide me a min 12 month guaranteed income. I was wondering if i'm being too cautious but ultimately I don't think that I was. It would have been a massive issue for me to move my life/family over to SG if this thing terminates early...and by my own estimation that chance wasn't too small (say 20% probability).

How do people do this? How to expats move entire families to different continent, what if things don't work out? Do they have their employeers guarantee repatriation costs and guarantee a job back with the same company in home country?

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Re: Building guarantees into a contract?

Postby Strong Eagle » Wed, 30 Jan 2019 8:38 am

It's certainly reasonable to expect a guaranteed minimum term, especially if you are picking up a lot of the moving costs.

All the personnel contracts I wrote for my company contractors were of 1 or 2 year duration, and could only be canceled because of gross non performance by the employee... I had one whose drinking problem did him in. I did have an out... if my client were to cancel me for anything other than gross non performance, I wouldn't have any job for the contractor but this never happened.

If the company was operating under the idea that you would move out, then the company decides to say, "Meh!" then you did the right thing. Hell, it takes a year to get everything in gear.


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