Understanding and recognizing the difference between an offer letter and a contract letter is one of the most crucial ways for one’s career progression. Since the content of both are relatively similar, many people, especially the ones who are applying for their first job, mistake one for the other.
Below are the key pointers you should be aware of when it comes to contract employee job offer letters-
A contract employee job offer letter is similar to a normal offer letter. It starts by laying out the details of the job role and in-depth description. However, a contract employee job offer letter typically contains a time period and is used by employers when they are hiring the employee for a certain period of time. Contracts are usually used for the following cases-
- Freelance Hiring
- Part-time to full-time positions
- Time-specific projects
Like job offer letters, contract letters are time-sensitive and usually require the answer in a week.
Is it likely to receive both an offer letter and a contract letter?
The answer is usually no. The company sends either an offer letter or a contract letter depending on the type of work involved. While an offer letter represents the foundation of long-term employment, a contract employee offer letter indicates a limited-work relationship that does not comply with the offer letter format. For instance, you might be working for a company as per their standard working hours, but you won’t get the same benefits as their full-time employee such as healthcare benefits.
Understanding the difference between these two letters is a great way to manage your expectations and make the decision of whether or not you want to accept the job. You will be able to make an informed decision after weighing your choices and options.
Things to consider before accepting the contract employee offer letter-
- Job Description- Just as an offer letter, before accepting, you should check for the exact details of the job description and ensure that it is exactly what you interviewed for. A good advantage of a contract offer letter is that the employer can’t make you switch your role or department.
- Contract Period & Clauses- All contract offer letters usually have the joining date, however, the total amount of which you have agreed to work on should be checked thoroughly. There is a high chance that the employer might put a clause in the contract stating that if you leave the job before the end date you might have to pay a hefty fine. Another thing to be checked is the notice period. Companies usually ask for a 90-days-notice period, so if you are planning to quit, it is better you do it according to the company’s policy.
- Working hours, leaves & other policies- Like mentioned above, the working hours and policies involved in an offer letter and a contract letter are different. You may not get the basic benefits you were hoping for. Thus, it is important to read the contract and see what benefits you are being offered. Also, even though you are working for the company on a contract basis, it is important to note the number of hours they expect you to be working for, and whether is it fine by you.
- Non-compete clause- If you are working for a company on a contractual basis, there is a chance that you are simultaneously working for other companies as well. While many companies are fine with it, there are some who might have a problem and thus they will include a non-compete clause. Hence, if you are fine with the exclusivity clause, you can sign it. If not, you may have to rethink and weigh your options.