How to avoid the 10 most common mistakes made by executives
1. Be sure to get legal advice:
- before signing an employment contract;
- when facing the threat of termination of your employment;
- when negotiating a severance package (you may have legal rights that you are not aware of); and
- prior to signing a Deed of Separation and Release under which your legal rights are being compromised in exchange for the payment of money.
2. Do not express out loud to any staff members doubts you may have as to whether you are interested in having a long-term future with the company.
3. Do not agree to a variation in your duties and responsibilities without first obtaining legal advice as to the consequences.
4. Be scrupulously honest in your dealings with the company, particularly with regard to expense accounts and credit cards.
5. Be careful never to engage in any behaviour with staff members which could be construed as sexual harassment or intimidation, and make sure your behaviour is above reproach at Christmas or other staff parties.
6. Don’t agree to execute an employment contract after you have actually commenced employment. This is particularly the case where you have been with that employer for a long time. This agreement will typically contain a notice provision which you would otherwise not be bound to.
7. Never resign without taking legal advice. Even if your working environment is intolerable, you should not take this step without fully understanding the implications.
Resignation is (in military terms) similar to “surrender”. The soldier who surrenders is not in a position to complain about the food and accommodation.
What you should be seeking is “armistice” i.e. an agreed basis for your departure.
8. Do not accept an appointment as a local Australian Director for an offshore company without taking legal advice prior to your appointment. The Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) imposes onerous obligations on those who accept such responsibilities. This is not to be undertaken lightly. It is possible that you may be able to negotiate indemnities or take out Directors & Officers insurance to minimise the risks.
9. Be sure to maintain your own comprehensive personnel file as it relates to the terms and conditions of your employment off the premises. In circumstances where you are suddenly terminated, you will need this material in order to build your case.
10. Do not agree to relocate either interstate or overseas without giving proper consideration to the basis upon which you will do so. This is particularly the case with respect to the payment of relocation expenses and the provision of adequate notice in your agreement in the event of your termination.
The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult a lawyer for individual advice regarding your own situation.