Working Practices - IR35 Working Practices - IR35
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  1. #1

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    Post Working Practices - IR35

    Hi everyone!

    First time posting here. Recently started contracting and I've had my contract reviewed by QDOS. The last stage is to do a working practices assessment.

    This is both a IR35 question and an advice on for you seasoned contractors.

    When it comes to working practices regarding time off and working from home, when you are denied, how do you approach the situation?

    I reviewed my contract and there is no clause for leave requests and I can work "wherever agreed". Now that I'm on client side, the agency I'm working for has told me the client does not want anyone working from home and very strict about this and a request must be made in advance. Secondary, leave must be approved. Tried to book my birthday off and it has been denied as "may be needed but possibly not" by the agency.

    I appreciate these are minor points but also showing control over me. How would you approach this?

    For reference re the agency and client. I am contracted via a SoW to a consulting firm (agency) and they are providing services to the client. The denied requests and approvals are to and from the agency.

    Appreciate the help and in advance.

    Have a great day and thank you!

  2. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by deeppanda View Post
    Hi everyone!

    First time posting here. Recently started contracting and I've had my contract reviewed by QDOS. The last stage is to do a working practices assessment.

    This is both a IR35 question and an advice on for you seasoned contractors.

    When it comes to working practices regarding time off and working from home, when you are denied, how do you approach the situation?

    I reviewed my contract and there is no clause for leave requests and I can work "wherever agreed". Now that I'm on client side, the agency I'm working for has told me the client does not want anyone working from home and very strict about this and a request must be made in advance. Secondary, leave must be approved. Tried to book my birthday off and it has been denied as "may be needed but possibly not" by the agency.

    I appreciate these are minor points but also showing control over me. How would you approach this?


    For reference re the agency and client. I am contracted via a SoW to a consulting firm (agency) and they are providing services to the client. The denied requests and approvals are to and from the agency.

    Appreciate the help and in advance.

    Have a great day and thank you!
    On your 2 main points:

    1. Leave - with all my previous clients I have never asked but have always stated that out of courtesy I'm letting them know I won't be working on specific dates and if they have an issue with it to discuss it with me. In my experience, the majority of clients are reasonable and prefer you to let them know as far in advance as possible. What many dislike is a contractor not turning up for a day or two and then just swanning in like nothing has happened. Decency costs nothing.
    2. Working from home - perhaps more contentious but I've taken the approach of having discussed at various stages of the process that I would be working from home on certain days. There's no doubt many empire builders at clients hate nothing more than contractors working from home but again my view has always been straightforward - if the facility is in the contract and they've known it will be a requirement then you're well within the terms of the contract to do so. However, you have to accept that the client may not like it. Twice I've said to clients that I will be working from home and if they don't like it then they're free to terminate the contract (if the facility allows) at which point in both cases they backed down. Never do this unless you're prepared for them to call your bluff.

  3. #3

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    Where does this ask about holiday / WFH in the working practices form from QDOS?

    Also, say you work from home one day per week (but not stated within the contract - just a verbal agreement) and you don't need to seek approval for holiday from the client, how would this be demonstrable in the event of an investigation and how would this be viewed?

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by CompoundOverload View Post
    Where does this ask about holiday / WFH in the working practices form from QDOS?

    Also, say you work from home one day per week (but not stated within the contract - just a verbal agreement) and you don't need to seek approval for holiday from the client, how would this be demonstrable in the event of an investigation and how would this be viewed?
    Demonstrable: With an email informing the client, 'I'll be WFH next week on Monday,' another the following week, 'I'll be WFH next week on Friday.' And an email, 'For purposes of your planning, I'll be on holiday 4-8 November. If you need the capacity during that time and want me to find a substitute, please let me know.'

    As a matter of courtesy, I'd let them know in personal conversation that such emails will be coming, and I'd also arrange the holiday via conversation at least two months in advance, where possible. In that conversation I'd say, 'I'll send an email confirming so you have the dates in writing.'

    How would it be viewed? Depends on who is viewing, but most people would see it as indicating lack of control on some level. Not enough on its own to constitute an ironclad case, by any means, but certainly helpful.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by WordIsBond View Post
    Demonstrable: With an email informing the client, 'I'll be WFH next week on Monday,' another the following week, 'I'll be WFH next week on Friday.' And an email, 'For purposes of your planning, I'll be on holiday 4-8 November. If you need the capacity during that time and want me to find a substitute, please let me know.'

    As a matter of courtesy, I'd let them know in personal conversation that such emails will be coming, and I'd also arrange the holiday via conversation at least two months in advance, where possible. In that conversation I'd say, 'I'll send an email confirming so you have the dates in writing.'

    How would it be viewed? Depends on who is viewing, but most people would see it as indicating lack of control on some level. Not enough on its own to constitute an ironclad case, by any means, but certainly helpful.
    Well, I've been at the current client for a while now and typically WFH one day a week. No set day, decide how i feel at the end of each week and select said day for the following week. How could I now communicate this with the manager to cover my back without looking a complete tool? (trying to bullet proof myself as much as possible!)?

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by CompoundOverload View Post
    Well, I've been at the current client for a while now and typically WFH one day a week. No set day, decide how i feel at the end of each week and select said day for the following week. How could I now communicate this with the manager to cover my back without looking a complete tool? (trying to bullet proof myself as much as possible!)?
    To be fair I'm sure the permies can do this as well so it's a pretty minor point.

    I wouldn't be busting a blood vessel over this point alone.
    'CUK forum personality of 2011 - Winner - Yes really!!!!

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by CompoundOverload View Post
    Well, I've been at the current client for a while now and typically WFH one day a week. No set day, decide how i feel at the end of each week and select said day for the following week. How could I now communicate this with the manager to cover my back without looking a complete tool? (trying to bullet proof myself as much as possible!)?
    Dear Mr Manager, I've not been doing this regularly, but I thought it might be good, to avoid confusion, if I send you an email at the end of each week letting you know which day of the coming week I'll be working from home. Next week, I'll be at home on Monday. Thank you, Compound Overload.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by WordIsBond View Post
    Dear Mr Manager, I've not been doing this regularly, but I thought it might be good, to avoid confusion, if I send you an email at the end of each week letting you know which day of the coming week I'll be working from home. Next week, I'll be at home on Monday. Thank you, Compound Overload.
    "Dear Mr Client Representative, ...." surely?

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Paralytic View Post
    "Dear Mr Client Representative, ...." surely?
    Hee hee. Not often WiB makes a faux paux so very well spotted and corrected.
    'CUK forum personality of 2011 - Winner - Yes really!!!!

  10. #10

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    So, let me check, you're asking the agency for permission to take time off, and asking them if you can work from home?

    Now that they've placed you, really all you need to contact the agency for is regarding invoice submission and payment. Everything else should be with the client.

    I send my timesheet signer a notification of days I will out of the office, usually a couple of weeks out because they forget if they get too much notice. I also decide at 6am when the alarm goes off if I'm going to turn up to the office or not. Usually I will drag myself in if I have F2F meetings but I have had 'a change of plans' and rescheduled because I want a lie in.

    You need to better manage your relationship with the client. Now that you're on site, that's what matters not what the pimple-faced agent may think.

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