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Contract Inside IR35 = Anything Goes?

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    Contract Inside IR35 = Anything Goes?

    For the first time in my contracting career I've taken a gig deemed as inside IR35 with a bank. Notice is 1 month and the gig is 6 which was non negotiable. I know that being inside IR35 covers that aspect of being a "disguised employee" , "under direction and control" etc. but really, to the point of being treated like a spare resource to be thrown at any project, cover permies days off, no correction weeks off?!!

    in a team of 4 I'm now covering one permie who's decided to sign himself off for a month just 2 weeks after I joined where I was then told I'd be covering his work. Today I was told that permie number 2 will be away for 2 weeks in a weeks time and I'll be covering his job too. So literally doing the work of 3 people which is, as you can imagine, impossible.

    Cient says he will try and see if he can get any extra resource but then said "We'll support you". Yeah right. The other permie seems to not be having to do anything extra and one other contractor just toddles along om the same project he's been renewed on continually for the last 3 years.

    Never had to cover other people's time off sick or on holiday like this and in an environment where consultants are sending emails at 9.30pm and 10.20pm at night with phrases like "it's really ramping up" being thrown around I'm afraid I've been well and truly had. I'm very stressed, dreading work and now making mistakes due to anxiety and lying awake dreading going in to work. I can't afford to just walk but at the same time I cannot physically get through another month or more if I were to hand my notice in.....aside from the fact that no other agency/ prospective client would wait that long in terms of notice.

    Thoughts? Experiences? Suggestions?

    #2
    Tell the client and agent this is significantly different in scope to the contract you signed up to and if it doesn't get sorted you will walk. Give them a time scale.

    A month is reasonable notice to look for another gig. If an agent asks say it's negotiable. Clients in the main are in far less of a hurry to get you on board that the agent is. It can take a month just to get the paper work sorted.

    You might be inside IR35 but you are still a contractor and it is up to you to fight your corner. All the same options are available to you as they would be on an outside contract. Just be prepared to follow through with it, if you don't they will shaft you for the rest of the contract as they know you will roll over.
    "Being nice costs nothing and sometimes gets you extra bacon" - Pondlife.

    Comment


      #3
      Originally posted by DaveB View Post
      Tell the client and agent this is significantly different in scope to the contract you signed up to and if it doesn't get sorted you will walk. Give them a time scale.

      A month is reasonable notice to look for another gig. If an agent asks say it's negotiable. Clients in the main are in far less of a hurry to get you on board that the agent is. It can take a month just to get the paper work sorted.

      You might be inside IR35 but you are still a contractor and it is up to you to fight your corner. All the same options are available to you as they would be on an outside contract. Just be prepared to follow through with it, if you don't they will shaft you for the rest of the contract as they know you will roll over.
      Firstly, no reason to stress about it. If you can't do everything they want you to do, just tell them nicely.
      Do what you can and manage expectations; don't be negative. Always offer solutions together with the problems you raise.

      Comment


        #4
        Nothing new in that scenario I am afraid. Clients were doing this to contractors in the old days when everything was outside as well. You've just picked a crap gig. Plenty of them around and we've all had one at some point. To be fair to the client it could be a perm being shafted like that. I don't think it's that much to do with you being a contactor. Someone has to cover the work and you are the only able person in eye sight. If you weren't there it would be one of the other perms so don't think this has an awful lot to do with contracting per se. This is just a case of wrong place wrong time,nothing to do with being inside etc.

        Dave B's first post is the standard first response when contracting but I have to say if the client deemed it inside because they do want a catch all, do what you are told contractor then it's part and parcel of the role. Be interesting to know if you got a contract and a statement of work and if it did have the dreaded 'and anything else management deems necessary' in it.

        The response above could be a wake up call for the client and they re-consider as they can't afford to lose yet another resource but even the team is two people down I don't see how they can let you do your normal work while the perms take up the slack, someone has to. Dave B nailed the point about following up though. If you are gonna leave if they don't meet your demands you've got to leave else it's going to be ten times worse as they know you won't.

        Notice periods are generally flexible. No client wants a contractor on site that doesn't want to be there and is going to be a problem. If you are so under pressure there is a risk you'll just not turn in so would be pretty daft of a client to not consider this and let you go earlier. On the other hand you are covering for three others so may want the month to sort something else out. That said I'd imagine if you make it clear you are going to leave the agency could get someone in in a week or two and let you go.

        At worst, if it's that bad you just stop going in. Very unlikely you'll get any money owed to you, the agent will give you a ton of crap and threaten to sue you for breach of contracts and the loss of their commission. They won't as its too expensive for too little but by god they'll try and put the frightners on you. You just have to shoulder it I am afraid. Once you've gone and swallowed the lost income there will be no other fall out. You can't go back to that client or agency for awhile but you won't be blackballed in the industry so don't discount it if it really making you ill. You won't be sued, or hauled through the courts or anything. A bit of shouty shouty but that can't be worse than you being so unhappy you can't get up in a morning.

        Notice periods and the situation aside, do what is best for you. Tell the agency exactly what that is and don't let them bully you. If you have to give your notice and you can't do more than two weeks before getting mentally ill then do two weeks and just leave. You told them, up to them to get someone in in time. Better to try do that than just not turn up again though.. but still, if you need to do that then do it. Don't make yourself ill over it.

        And start looking for another gig tomorrow. If you can find one to go to in a weeks time then go. Once you are on the new clients site and all happy you won't care what happened at the last one.
        'CUK forum personality of 2011 - Winner - Yes really!!!!

        Comment


          #5
          I ditto a lot of the above. Your IR35 status isn't what's driving the issues.

          First off, can you afford some down time where you're not earning? I ask (and you don't have to tell) because with a crap gig you're not always in the right frame of mind to be going out there selling yourself. Taking a break could do you some good before you throw yourself back into the job market.

          Either way, you should be frank with the client and tell them that their demands are too much for you and what remains of the team. You need actual support and want to know when its going to land.

          Do start looking for another gig if only to get your availability known and to test the market. A one month notice, as noted above, is workable but I wouldn't tell the agent what it is. i tend to say it's negotiable and then see what the client actually thinks at interview. Notice periods are always negotiable and if you don't care about burning bridges you could always give notice and go off sick (there's some virus doing the rounds, I hear).

          Crappy gigs do come around but it sounds like you have enough experience that you know it's not always this way.

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by Willy Win View Post
            I can't afford to just walk
            I think that's the key line that some of the other replies might have missed, and it puts you in a difficult position. However, I agree that it's not reasonable to expect you to carry on like this.

            Are you submitting timesheets? If so, what does your contract say about the hours of work? E.g. if you're dealing with emails at 10pm (an 11 hour day?), and therefore working 55 hours/week rather than 40, would the client be happy to pay you for 2 extra days of work? If so, maybe that will improve your finances to the point where you can afford a bit of time on the bench. If not, you can say that you'll work to rule, i.e. you'll work from 9-5 each day but if an email comes through in the evening then you won't deal with it until the following morning. Basically, put the ball back in their court, so that it's up to them to either accept this or fire you, rather than you threatening to quit.

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by hobnob View Post

              I think that's the key line that some of the other replies might have missed, and it puts you in a difficult position. However, I agree that it's not reasonable to expect you to carry on like this.

              Are you submitting timesheets? If so, what does your contract say about the hours of work? E.g. if you're dealing with emails at 10pm (an 11 hour day?), and therefore working 55 hours/week rather than 40, would the client be happy to pay you for 2 extra days of work? If so, maybe that will improve your finances to the point where you can afford a bit of time on the bench. If not, you can say that you'll work to rule, i.e. you'll work from 9-5 each day but if an email comes through in the evening then you won't deal with it until the following morning. Basically, put the ball back in their court, so that it's up to them to either accept this or fire you, rather than you threatening to quit.
              I certain you we know the answer to that one

              How is the OP getting emails at that time of night? Shut the laptop and no mails.
              'CUK forum personality of 2011 - Winner - Yes really!!!!

              Comment


                #8
                Thanks for the responses so far. I'm still working within my hours but the culture and working environment of the project is too fast and chaotic compared to what I am used to, and the correct processes are being followed less and less as the weeks go by. I'm not answering emails at 10pm, just receiving about 20 or so sent overnight and there when I'm logging in first thing in the morning.

                I know a lot of people on here may say "suck it up/get used to it" etc but I just cannot do it. I'm making alot of mistakes which is not like me. Added to the fact that I have already taken time out before this contract due to stress/ anxiety issues following recovery from a major operation so this is the worst work environment for me to be in.

                I think just removing myself is the best option, although financially it would not be a good idea. However, my thinking is just to even take something temporary, less stressful at a lower pay to keep the money ticking over but keep my sanity whilst still looking. My thoughts are email the agency on Monday with notice of my resignation and that I will not be working that notice due to "personal health issues" ? How should I word it in a way that's serious enough to be convincing? Mind you, my hiring manager will not be convinced given that I've already voiced my concerns about the work and also the timing of the other team members going off! My thinking is that it would allow me the time to look for work.

                I know that my hiring manager will be straight on the phone on Monday morning ringing me/ questioning me about not coming into work, background of why not etc and it would cause mayhem for the team. He's been off for 3 days holiday himself so it will be his first day back on Monday. Just don't want to have to speak with him and avoid the angry questions! I would definitely be burning my bridges with both the agency and client here. Plus there's the issue of getting all my IT kit back since I'm currently working from home.
                Last edited by Willy Win; 4 September 2021, 05:40.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Email agency, email the hiring manager (ccing his boss) that you are resigning on the advice of your doctor and a sicknote will follow to cover.

                  In that email tell him not to ring and ask in it where you should send your equipment to and that you will sort it out.

                  Then go to your doctor and sort out a sicknote - life is too short for dealing with crap.
                  merely at clientco for the entertainment

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by eek View Post
                    Email agency, email the hiring manager (cc'ing his boss) that you are resigning on the advice of your doctor and a sicknote will follow to cover.
                    Do I need to provide a sick note if I am not an employee? Also, what is the length of time that a sick note would cover and for what kind of issue? Sorry if that seems like a ridiculous question but I'm not in the habit of getting doctor's sick notes and wouldn't want anything drastic being added to my medical records!

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