I have agreed a new job offer in principal based on the following high level terms. I have also resigned from my current position in good faith.
- Offer of base salary (in offer letter)
- Offer of share options (in offer letter)
- Recruiter on phone said shares vest over 3 years
My contract has arrived and there is no mention of share options and the contract also stipulates that any previous documents including offer letter are not valid upon signing of the contract.
I emailed my potential employer about these concerns and they seem to be fobbing me off, telling me that the offer letter is binding and that they are in the process of raising new money. Because of the new funding round they have changed their Articles of Association and Shareholder Agreements for some institutional investors. They say they can then post round, issue the new EMI options for the team. Employer also said the shares vest over 4 years among a few other confusing details.
How big a deal is this and would it raise a red flag for you? Obviously I need to request all of this be put into the employment contract. If they push back on this, then it is my attitude that the company has made me an offer they are not in a position to be able to formalise. If that is the case, I will withdraw my acceptance of the offer in principle.
There are also a few other things that I do not like and I am wondering how much I can/should push back on. For example, in the first two years they need only give me 4 weeks notice if they want to let me go (+1 week for subsequent years). My notice period, shall I want to leave is static at 3 months. I don't like this, it should be equal on both sides.
What should I do? Would this type of treatment be a red flag for you? Would you continue to want to join? I am getting concerned now and my gut is starting to feel like it's telling me something.