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Advice for first time contractor?

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    Originally posted by fiju View Post
    Well the good news is it's not working for a construction firm. I'll be working on the client side in the defence sector. Said client has various projects all over the country/world. The role is simply to manage the construction contract.
    Thats the same as I did a few years back. I worked through my Limited and as the client wasn't the construction firm itself they took me on as they would their other usual PM's.
    It was certainly an experience trying to control all the aspects of design and build, as well as work with the expectations of the client's internal stakeholders. Construction workers can be.... ummm, "challenging" at times. I had to deal with a strike at 6am in the morning, two floods, a bat colony, clearly mad architects, quite a serious fire, and removing from site a worker who enjoyed relieving himself in full view of the administration block.


      Originally posted by fiju View Post
      I've pretty much told them that below £300 is a no and that I'm not budging.

      I believe that I have some leverage in that:
      1. I meet and exceed the job requirements. 2. They're after someone quickly.
      3. I'm the only candidate they've interviewed for the role.
      4. Apparently the client really likes me.
      5. I have another job offer as a perm. Obviously less money.

      The initial offer was £300 ltd, but was then told £200 umbrella today. I'd rather not bother as I know my worth and there are other jobs out there.

      The agent has since come back to me this evening after speaking with the client, I've been informed that they'll agree to change my title. No idea if that puts me in the next band up. I guess I'll find out more tomorrow.
      Sadly none of those generally help strong arm clients or agents in to such massive rate rises. Not in IT anyway. We all think we are the bee's knees but unless its a super niche job we are all totally replaceable.

      As long as you meet the job for the money then exceeding is a bonus, not something you'd pay for. If you took on a builder for an extension would you pay him more if he exceeds the requirements to build the extention?
      They always want people quickly but when push comes to shove they can wait. Onboarding someone new doesn't take long at all. Money is worth more than speed in many cases as well. £100 extra a day just to get someone on a little quicker doesn't work generally.
      Being the only candidate is an interesting one. Depends why you are. If it's because you were the only candidate with the skills then this could you be your out. If it's because they thought you'd take it and not complain then it wont take long to interview someone else.
      We all think our clients really liked us. Again, liking you and forking out £100 a day are worlds apart.
      Not sure why having another job offer will get them to pay so much more.

      All together there could be a point or two in there, particularly the only candidate, that helps but most of them apply to every single contractor that went for any job ever.

      Fingers cross and you've caught them with their pants down and trying to go cheap and you've managed to leverage the money they would have been willing to pay anyway.
      'CUK forum personality of 2011 - Winner - Yes really!!!!


        Originally posted by jayn200 View Post

        There is a reason why CIS exists. CIS is a scheme where the client withholds either 20% or 30% of Subcontractors pay and pays it to HMRC. That is deducted from what you owe for tax. This was put in place because construction subcontractors just don't pay their taxes at all. Now they are bringing in reverse charge VAT for same reason, construction subcontractors do not pay their VAT bills, so again client will be responsible for withholding their own VAT and sending it to HMRC.

        I believe Project Management does fall within scope of CIS. I can't see how this would be outside ir35 unless you are operating as a true subcontractor and supplying labour subcontractors and/or materials. It's a little confusing what the agent said to you because you are really only going to be dealing with CIS when operating your own LTD or as a sole trader, not as an umbrella company as the umbrella company will be dealing with all of that.

        I think choosing between 50k perm and 300 umbrella is a no brainer, 50k perm wins every time. Your take home will be very similar between the 2 but with perm you get all the benefits of employment.
        Well thanks for that. What I can't seem to find is a comparison between umbrella and cis. I already have my own limited company so it only involves making a choice. Which would you choose?


          The agent is now talking about bumping it to £250 through cis. I'm also not sure what he's been discussing with the client, as it there seems to be some error in communication somewhere. I've emailed the client and asked for a quick chat.


            Originally posted by fiju View Post
            The agent is now talking about bumping it to £250 through cis. I'm also not sure what he's been discussing with the client, as it there seems to be some error in communication somewhere. I've emailed the client and asked for a quick chat.
            What do you think the error is? That it's not 300?
            'CUK forum personality of 2011 - Winner - Yes really!!!!


              Besides that, there was talk of changing my job title. I didn't ask for that yet somehow that was agreed upon. So I don't know what information has been altered by the agent, and what is getting through correctly and what isn't.


                I hope you've been continuing to look for work. In a vast majority of IT roles where this carry on went on you'd be toast by now.
                'CUK forum personality of 2011 - Winner - Yes really!!!!


                  what was the rate you agreed to be put forward at?

                  you should have it in writing, most agents ask for written consent to represent you, right?

                  so you should stick to that agreed rate.

                  typical agent playing games, they lure you in with a rate, make you apply and interview for the role, then at the 11th hour they come up with this "unexpected" lower rate.

                  my advice is to keep looking.


                    They initially told me £300 LTD.

                    I have spoken to the client, who revealed that they have not agreed a rate with the agent as of yet. The terms are on a set banding or something like that. How should I play this?

                    Btw the agent is still trying to push me towards a CIS, and I still can't work out if that's beneficial.
                    Last edited by fiju; 16 March 2021, 13:55.


                      Originally posted by fiju View Post
                      How should I play this?
                      You should walk away and take the perm role. The agency have lied to you more than once, they tried to reduce your rate by a third. Ignore the misdirection of salary bands and job titles. Neither should apply if you're a proper contractor (sure you're not fixed term or other?).

                      Take the PAYE gig - for 2 grand difference you'll get paid holidays, bank holidays, sick leave, training etc etc.