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It is important that you have a contract and that you understand the contents of it. There is no standard version or template for a Norec participant agreement or contract. These may differ between the various partnerships, and they may differ between volunteers and professionals. The contract is usually between you and your host partner, but it may also be between you and your home partner. What is important, is that you know which partner you have a contract with, and you should know that the contract is ruled by the national legislation of the country where your contract partner is based.
And despite different wording and layout, all contracts should include information about the following:
- Name and address of the participant and of the partner (home or host) entering into the contract.
- Total duration of the contract: start and end date, with a specification of the number of months or weeks devoted to each phase of the project, including preparations, exchange and follow-up work.
- Main tasks and duties of the participant
- Allowance: A specification of the monthly allowance (how much, how you will be paid – currency and bank account)
- Taxation and pension rights: Any taxation of the agreed allowance will depend on relevant national law and/or any bilateral agreements between the sending and receiving countries. The contract shall specify who is responsible for paying the relevant taxes. This is normally the partner’s responsibility. The contract shall also specify whether there are any pension rights, and if any, the relevant details.
- Housing: The contract shall specify the standards of accommodation, and which utilities are to be covered by the host partner
- Insurance: The contract shall include which insurances are covered during the exchange. As a minimum it should cover your health insurance and your travel insurance.
- Notice period: the criteria on which the contract may be terminated/renegotiated
The contract doesn’t need to cover the following (but it must say where the information can be found):
- Working hours and rest breaks, holiday entitlement (and if that includes public holidays), sick pay and procedures
- Disciplinary and dismissal procedures
- Grievance procedures
If you still haven’t received your contract, or if you still have questions to any of its content, ask your partner for a meeting. It is important that you have a full understanding of your rights and duties. You will also have the opportunity to go through the contract with one of our programme advisers during the training.