I recently got a job offer abroad from a company that I interviewed at. In the job offer, they say that I will have to sign an employment contract on my first day at work. I read their offer letter thoroughly and everything seems good. But I'm not sure about this contract thing.

My biggest worry is that the employment contract might contain some bond with the company for X years. I am not going with the intention of quitting anytime soon but I do not want to be in a bond where I absolutely have to serve for a certain period of time or pay some money if I have to leave for some reason.

So my question is, is it possible that the contract can have such a clause even though nothing like this has been discussed or mentioned in the offer letter. And if the answer is yes, what is a good way to ask them for the terms in the contract? I don't want to sound like someone who is going to switch jobs but at the same time, this is something that I am really concerned about. Thanks!!

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    Ask for the contract up front so you can review it. No reasonable employer would refuse this. If they do, it's a big warning sign. – Hilmar Nov 12 '18 at 19:09
  • @Hilmar Thanks for the response. If that is the case, then I will ask them to send me the contract. – little_boy Nov 12 '18 at 19:12
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    Why are you worried about this hypothetical clause specifically as opposed to every other clause that can be highly objectionable? Do you have some reason to believe this employer includes clauses like this in contracts? – Dukeling Nov 12 '18 at 19:57
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    IMHO, for any, especially international move, contract need to be seen and signed upfront – Strader Nov 13 '18 at 18:48

I haven't been in this situation myself; however, I would be very reluctant to accept a job in another country without seeing (and signing) the contract first.

I don't know the countries involved (you should provide this information). However, you are saying that you would uproot yourself from your current country and move yourself and your family internationally, without even seeing the details of the contract you are going to be signing? For a start, without a written contract, they could easily withdraw their offer at any time, and (subject to possible local restrictions) they could potentially put just about anything in there. Doing that would put you in a position where you have no power to protest or negotiate.

Are they paying for your relocation expenses? What happens if you go to all the trouble and expense of moving and they turn round and say they've changed their mind? If they are not paying relocation, I would at least insist on them signing something in writing that commits them to paying your relocation costs in full, if they change their mind or a contract cannot be agreed.

Otherwise, to me this would seem very risky. Not something I would consider, unless I was desperate or it was an incredibly good opportunity, that I couldn't afford to turn down.

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    Thanks for the response. I will ask them to send me the contract. – little_boy Nov 12 '18 at 19:11

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