Receiving a job offer is exciting prospect. After all, it signifies the imminent end of an arduous job search process – from resume preparation, job application, interviewing, and finally, being offered a position.
But before you excitedly sign on the dotted line and say ‘Yes’ to the offer in front of you, here are some aspects you should think about and ask yourself if you are truly fine with.
#1 Staff Benefits
Unlike the monthly salary that is often the focus of a job interview process, employee benefits are often overlooked. For many people, once they have secured a dream position or a job that comes with a salary increment, the questions will much stop there.
However, if you are considering more than one job offer or deciding on a lateral move to another company, employee benefits should be factored in your decision besides the monthly salary.
Some benefits, such as Workman Compensation Insurance and Maternity Leave, are mandated under the Employment Act.
However, other benefits such as employee health insurance and dental coverage, as well as flexible working hours, sponsorship for courses and even reimbursement of vacation expenses, can make a difference to how much you can save on your monthly pay.
You may want to raise the following questions during the negotiation:
- Does the employer offer medical insurance as part of the staff benefits?
- How does the coverage level and access compare? Does the insurance provide coverage to my family members as well?
- Does the employer provide dental insurance coverage as well?
- Does the employer provide other benefits, such as sponsorship to courses, reimbursement for vacation expenses, or provide flexible working hours?
#2 Time-Off and Annual Leave
Under the Employment Act, employees are entitled to paid annual leave, as well as paid outpatient sick leave and hospitalisation leave if they have worked for at least three months for their employer.
The Act stipulates a minimum 7 days of annual leave on the first year of service, with 1 day of increment for each year of service. The number of days of paid sick leave is dependent on the period of service, with up to 14 days for paid outpatient sick leave and 60 days for paid hospitalisation leave (inclusive of the 14 days of outpatient sick leave) each year.
While it is a common practice for employers to be grant an annual leave of 14 days, well above the minimum requirement, there might be cases where some companies will only offer the legal minimum of 7 days.
Female employees who have been employed for more than 3 months may also be eligible for paid maternity leave, up to a total of 16 weeks leave. They are also entitled to 6 days of childcare leave per year if they are a parent of a child below 7 years of age.
In addition, if the job requires you to work extra hours occasionally, you may also want to find out if time-off will be granted in such instances or otherwise.
As a guide, you may wish to ask the following questions:
- How many days of leave am I entitled to each year?
- Am I able to carry forward the leave balance to the next year or will it be forfeited?
- What is the company’s policy on taking unpaid leave?
- Is there a paid time-off for working on weekends or after office hours?
- Does the employer provide extra time off for female employees with children, besides the usual maternity and childcare leave? For male employees, will the employer provide additional paternity leave?
- Does the company provide other leave such as parent care leave?
#3 Commute And Lifestyle
Unless the job allows you to work remotely, most job still requires commuting.
While Singapore is relatively well-connected and accessible, there are some commute that can take more than an hour (Bedok to Boon Lay via the MRT, for example). Hence, the time spent on daily commuting is something you should consider when evaluating a job offer, as it can impact your work and personal life.
For instance, long commute can mean an increase in expenses. Fatigue will also creep in due to shorter duration of sleep in order to wake up earlier to prepare for work. While you can offset this with an earlier bedtime, it will mean a cut on your available free time.
At this juncture, ask yourself:
- Will the new commute be more time-consuming and expensive?
- Will I have to sacrifice my personal time because of the longer commute?
- Does the company provide transportation for staff? Is it free or do I have a pay a monthly fee?
- Does the job offer upward mobility for a better opportunity in the future? If yes, am I willing to make some sacrifice?
Get The Best For Yourself
Before hurriedly saying “yes” to the first job offer you receive, be sure to run through the above factors and evaluate if the job and terms being offered is exactly what you need.
If you think that the job offer is mostly good, you could come back to the company with a counter, and honestly articulating your needs to see if they can adjust the package for you.
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