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Fixed Term Contracts - what lunatics work on these ?

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    #11
    I've done around 15 years of outside ir35 contracts, but I'm currently in a FTC, it's not a straightforward FTC bad, contracts good situation. The ir35 rules have changed the equation somewhat.

    Positives of a FTC -
    1) you should be able to negotiate yourself to the top of the salary band for the role you're in. It's an easier negotiation precisely because it's a FTC and less of a long term commitment from the client's point of view. The bands are often quite wide, I'm in a lead role and think I'm getting approx 15k more than I would expect for the same permie role.

    2) Short notice period - as a permie in a lead role, I'd be on 3 months' notice. As a FTC, it's one month. This is in my favour if I see a better contract role elsewhere as it gives me a chance of getting it without having to negotiate a reduced notice period. Obviously this is true for both sides, but if you're overly worried about being binned by the client at short notice, then as the saying goes "you're not cut out to be a contractor".

    3) Training/Flexibility. You get all these, as they are legally obliged to treat you the same as a permie. So 4 days a week, say, or weird hours and you've a better chance of being successful. Also it's easier to weedle your way into a project/technology you can see as an opportunity.

    Financially, my view is it's broadly similar to an inside ir35 gig, as long as there's a decent company pension contribution and reasonable holidays/sick pay. Plus they can't force you out for a month over christmas.

    Downsides - you have some permie nonsense to deal with but if you have a bit more wit than a halfwit you can manage this.
    I've only one experience but the renewal process is also more difficult because permie managers aren't always good and knowing how long it takes and/or the sign-off involved. It's not the usually better understood headcount process or Purchase Order and Agency process.

    So in summary, as you'd expect, don't rule it out until you've fully considered the possibilities

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      #12
      Originally posted by JohnM View Post

      there are about 200 perm jobs for every 1 FTC normally, this is an argument I don't understand
      If there are so few then why are you worried about them?
      Last edited by Fraidycat; 12 March 2021, 09:58.

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        #13
        FTC is just another way for a client to procure temporary resource for a defined period with probably a one-off payment to an agency rather than an ongoing fee for monthly payment processing. If the term lasts beyond two years you become a permie, with redundancy rights IIRC, so there's an incentive for the client to not let things run indefinitely.

        There are many reasons why a client chooses FTC over Perm, such as not wanting to show the headcount on their books, project work they want to retain control over, trialling something within an organisation that may convert to perm if it works out, not wanting the administrative hassle of IR35 compliance, etc.

        CORRECTION: After two years you "may" be entitled to redundancy pay and after four years you "may" become permanent.
        Source: https://archive.acas.org.uk/index.aspx?articleid=4587
        Last edited by ladymuck; 12 March 2021, 13:16.
        Click here to come to the CUK Xmas do on 10 Dec! Meet your board heroes!

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          #14
          Originally posted by JohnM View Post

          Why would you not just do a perm job instead ?
          Because maybe the company you want to work for doesn't offer permanent roles at that moment.

          I've come across a few companies that in practice use FTCs as longer probation periods and more often than not FTCs develop into permanent roles. If you're looking to become permie, these types of employment contract can be a good move. Works both ways: you can use the FTC as a prolonged period to understand whether you really want to work for that company.

          But yeah, as someone else already pointed out, it's just a permanent job with an end date (that might be scratched off)

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            #15
            Originally posted by ladymuck View Post
            FTC is just another way for a client to procure temporary resource for a defined period with probably a one-off payment to an agency rather than an ongoing fee for monthly payment processing. If the term lasts beyond two years you become a permie, with redundancy rights IIRC, so there's an incentive for the client to not let things run indefinitely.

            There are many reasons why a client chooses FTC over Perm, such as not wanting to show the headcount on their books, project work they want to retain control over, trialling something within an organisation that may convert to perm if it works out, not wanting the administrative hassle of IR35 compliance, etc.
            Yes but what reasons are there for a contractor to do one over a normal contract or a perm role, that is my point

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              #16
              Originally posted by Fraidycat View Post

              If there are so few then why are you worried about them?
              I have noticed a lot more than normal the last few weeks which concerns me as if that trend continues it is much worse than IR35 in my opinion

              IF people keep on accepting them more companies will do them obviously, hence the point of my thread

              Its the developer equivalent of a zero hours contact, the worst of contracting combined with the worst of perm

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                #17
                Originally posted by JohnM View Post

                Yes but what reasons are there for a contractor to do one over a normal contract or a perm role, that is my point
                Because as I said in the second post here - needs must. It's the first thing you get and you need the money.
                merely at clientco for the entertainment

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                  #18
                  Originally posted by JohnM View Post

                  I have noticed a lot more than normal the last few weeks which concerns me as if that trend continues it is much worse than IR35 in my opinion

                  IF people keep on accepting them more companies will do them obviously, hence the point of my thread

                  Its the developer equivalent of a zero hours contact, the worst of contracting combined with the worst of perm
                  You're wrong on this, see my post at the top of page 2.

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                    #19
                    Originally posted by IsaacD View Post

                    You're wrong on this, see my post at the top of page 2.
                    I think you are trying to kid yourself with the 15K more comment, trust me NONE of the FTC on jobserve or total jobs I have seen are anything iike 15K more than perm, most almost identical to similar perm roles

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                      #20
                      Originally posted by JohnM View Post

                      you could do exactly the same with any perm job so why do a FTC ?

                      Its madness IMO and its encouraging employers to have the cheek to try and recruit more people in this way

                      I look at these as the developer equivalent of zero hour contracts, very dangerous to our industry, much more dangerous that IR35 where you can still earn a decent day rate

                      Asking developers to do 6/12 month FTC on £40,000 a year is a p*ss take, especally experienced guys who have previously contracted. Go perm for god sake, don't allow these FTC's to gain traction within the industry
                      then you don't understand zero hours contracts either.
                      HTH
                      See You Next Tuesday

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