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Insight14
20th June 2005, 14:04
I was recently offered a senior role with a big consultancy (who also sell International Business Machines incidently). We stuck on one clause - they have a policy of a 7 day non-reciprocal termination period. There was no provision for the contractor to terminate. At all.

I can't beleive that all of their contractors (and there must be hundreds in the UK) would sign under such circumstances. Or is there a standard way to get out of these contracts?

PRC1964
20th June 2005, 14:06
is there a standard way to get out of these contracts?

Stop turning up for work.

DimPrawn
20th June 2005, 14:06
This seems to be a growing trend.

I've had contracts where I had no right to terminate, but that's becuase I knew the company well and had no intention of leaving early.

Beware what you sign.

DodgyAgent
20th June 2005, 14:06
I can't beleive that all of their contractors (and there must be hundreds in the UK) would sign under such circumstances. Or is there a standard way to get out of these contracts?

Why not? You are supposed to be a business delivering a service, not a permie employee.

ChicoLondon
20th June 2005, 14:08
Only go for it if the day rate is excellent. I used to work with Big Blue and gained excellent exposure. Will not do your CV any harm

planetit
20th June 2005, 14:11
How long is the contract for? If 3 or 6 months, I would have no problem with a clause like that. Although I would prefer it if they could terminate without notice.

BigJohnE
20th June 2005, 14:17
<<I was recently offered a senior role with a big consultancy (who also sell International Business Machines incidentally).>>

If this is with Computer People you will find that this is a Computer People clause not and big blue clause. They have also included a £500 administration charge if you leave the contract early. These conditions are not enforceable but to be on the safe side do not sign under those conditions.

Insight14
20th June 2005, 14:18
Dodgy - I'm not sure I get your point. I'm a business providing a service, true. Why should I be under obligation to provide the service for a fixed period of time, while the client can terminate the service at a weeks notice?

WageSlave1
20th June 2005, 14:21
They have also included a £500 administration charge if you leave the contract early.

I'm sure Parity have a similar contractual clause.

EternalOptimist
20th June 2005, 14:24
I have worked for them twice with this clause included.
The first contract was a mistake, they wanted a desktop expert but got a developer. They kept telling me 'just stick with it - it will be ok. I spent three months rebuilding all their admin tools then asked if I could go. They agreed.

I would risk it.

:rolleyes

amcdonald
20th June 2005, 14:24
Why not just strike out the clause, then sign it and send it back

DodgyAgent
20th June 2005, 14:28
Why should I be under obligation to provide the service for a fixed period of time, while the client can terminate the service at a weeks notice?

I will first of all accept that you have every right to negotiate whatever contractual terms you wish. When it comes to reciprocal notice clauses I do not understand why so many contractors have this "tit for tat" attitude problem. OK 7 days notice for the client is hardly inspiring for any contractor, and may well cause the client problems with getting good contractors in the first place. However since when did businesses and suppliers ever have to have exactly even contracts? If you want your builder to complete a job he contracts to do so. He does not have a notice clause to clear off whenever it suits him.

If I employ a company to provide me with IT support services for 3 months I do not expect to have to give them a notice clause that enables them to cut short their service. I do on the other hand want to be able to chuck them out if they are s***.

AtW
20th June 2005, 14:38
> I do not expect to have to give them a notice clause that
> enables them to cut short their service. I do on the other hand
> want to be able to chuck them out if they are s***.

So in other words the truth of the matter is that the side with the money will have upper hand in negotiations and I doubt big companies are even keen to "negotiate" terms of the contracts they offer.

My view is that contracts should be even -- perhaps there is a need for a law stating simply that terms like that can't be uneven.

Insight14
20th June 2005, 14:54
Dodgy, I don't think any contractor would object to clauses for non-performance. If a supplied service is substandard I don't see anything wrong with termination or penalty clauses.

However, we all know that contracts can be terminated for a lot of reasons, such as the client running over-budget, or finding an internal resource. Why should I commit 6 months worth of a very limited resource (me) to a company without the same level of commitment from them?

Unfortunately it was a deal breaker on both sides, so no contracts were signed.

DodgyAgent
20th June 2005, 15:09
My view :rollin

BigJohnE
20th June 2005, 15:09
There is the "Unfair Terms and Conditions" Act 2001

There is much weight on the contractors side with this law in particular when agents apply their "standard terms and conditions" ie: when they give no room to negotiate and insist that the weaker parter accepts unfair conditions favour one side only.


Unfair Terms in Computer Contracts (http://www.bileta.ac.uk/Document)

shaunbhoy
20th June 2005, 15:20
when agents apply there "standard terms and conditions"

their
:rolleyes

AtW
20th June 2005, 15:23
<!--EZCODE QUOTE START--><blockquote><strong><em>Quote:</em></strong><hr>My view<hr></blockquote><!--EZCODE QUOTE END-->

:rollin [/quote]

You are only one step above slave trader Dodgy :rolleyes

DodgyAgent
20th June 2005, 15:25
Why should I commit 6 months worth of a very limited resource (me) to a company without the same level of commitment from them?

You should do whatever you think is best for you. I just do not understand this obsession with identical reciprocal arrangements. It depends on what you view your role is. Are you simply filling in for a permie or are you supplying a service. If the latter you may like to ask yourself exactly what service you are giving. My opinion is that clients buy services from providers partly to give them security that the service they are buying is there for the period of time that they require.
In addition they are also paying for flexibility to terminate that service as and when they wish.

Whilst negotiating both parties need to take these considerations into account when working out mutually acceptable TOB. In your case the client was not giving you the incentive to take his contract.. fine. But why this obsession with tit for tat communistesque b*******?

DodgyAgent
20th June 2005, 15:27
You are only one step above slave trader Dodgy

above????? :D

Insight14
20th June 2005, 15:37
And I did do what I thought best for me dodgy...in not signing.

IBM certainly don't pay any more than the rest of the market, so its not like they are paying for the privelege of being able to cancel the contract early. If there was an extra £100/day on the rate, it might have been a different matter.

I simply question their blanket policy, and wonder why contractors in their right mind would sign on.

AtW
20th June 2005, 15:38
> above????? :D

Yeah, Merc trader is above :rolleyes

SupremeSpod
20th June 2005, 15:42
...are you working from home for the duration?

DodgyAgent
20th June 2005, 15:48
Insight, you are right in your analysis of the situation. The problem is not the fact that you do not have a seven day notice clause, it is that the client has a seven day notice clause to get rid of you.

I have always found that if a contractor really wants to leave there is little that can (or should) be done to prevent it. This is because most contractors are quite professional in managing their departure. These clauses should only ever be invoked if a contractor does something very naughty :p . The fact that they are there is really a deterrence rather than anything else.

Not So Wise
20th June 2005, 17:20
But why this obsession with tit for tat communistesque b*******?
Why this obsession on the other side to have "unbalanced" clause's in the contracts?

I have always found that if a contractor really wants to leave there is little that can (or should) be done to prevent it.
Fully agree, nothing should be done to prevent it, nothing more "dangerous" than having someone there "under duress" but there is nothing stopping the client suing the contractor afterwords for "breach of contract" if they feel like it.

Thus it has always been my policy and always will be when i see imbalanced termination clause's, of not signing. If they want me to "commit" they better be willing to do so to the same degree otherwise i am forced to question their "good faith"

EternalOptimist
20th June 2005, 17:51
'I simply question their blanket policy, and wonder why contractors in their right mind would sign on.'

well I didnt question it and I signed on. I had a couple of lucrative contracts, no animosity and a big *****-off name on my cv twice. Loads of good references a couple of mates. I also terminated a contract with good will because it 'wasnt me'.

Plus I was in my right mind(last time I checked my orbital mind control laser console:D )

mcquiggd
21st June 2005, 02:28
If you really want to go, simply advertise in a Mumbai newspaper for a Senior Technical Architect with 15 years C# or J2EE experience for about $5 an hour..... im sure the client will love the opportunity to get rid of you if you offer to lower your fee by 75% and find a replacement who rivals Einstein in his intellectual capacity, with degrees from 30 world-renowned universities by the age of 21.


P.S Ive worked for people who sell Business Machines, and been an Associate Principal Consultant (barf!) for a Seattle based company.... both the same - they flouted the law in the hope no-one would challenge them. For example 'I need 3 months notice if you want to book a holiday' and 'you cant work for a client of ours for 2 years after you leave'.

They might actually turn out to be a good employer - every team / manager is different - but, if they mess you around, then reciprocate - get another job, say you have a one month notice period, and completely @#%$ up the company that is screwing you by simply not working to the best of your abilities.

Is that unprofessional? No. Its returning the favour to the company that is wasting your talents, to enable you to make use of them elsewhere.

And if you think any of your managers got where they are without screwing their staff, you are either 1) a newbie or 2) you should send me their contact details. I need to warn them they will be sacked soon.

DodgyAgent
21st June 2005, 07:49
There are an awful lot of egos that do not accept the servitude concept of supply and demand. Fine you are free to negotiate whatever contract you like. However you are not the ones paying the money it is the clients that are paying you. It is no wonder so much work is pouring out of the Uk and into China and India.

but, if they mess you around, then reciprocate - get another job, say you have a one month notice period, and completely @#%$ up the company that is screwing you by simply not working to the best of your abilities

This attitude is called sulking. "messing you around" in who's opinion. This is an entirely subjective concept. If you have a problem then sort iy out. "not working to your best ability" is pathetic sulky behaviour.

SupremeSpod
21st June 2005, 08:25
It is no wonder so much work is pouring out of the Uk and into China and India.

Purely for economic reasons, not for the lack of a servitude mentality!

kazrak
6th June 2007, 12:40
Interesting topic of conversation, i find myself in a similar predicament. I am now one and a half weeks into a contract that is with computer people, i have only just received the hard copy of the contract and it has the same clauses as mentioned earlier, i.e no termination by me, 7 days by the client and £500 early termination.
I am (i think) about to be offered a very good permanent role that i would be more tham follish to deny and this contract is fairly low paid and only for 3 months. My question is this, if i did not sign the contract, am i entitled to ask for pay for the work i have undertaken, assuming they will not negotiate the terms of the contract to allow me a notice period.
I am aware that their are some people that feel if i agree to a 3 month contract i should just stick to it, to which i would say, that's fine but would you castigate a permanent employee that decides they wish to switch to another role or employee the same way? They, after all, always get a notice period, why should we be different?

Cowboy Bob
6th June 2007, 12:43
Interesting topic of conversation, i find myself in a similar predicament. I am now one and a half weeks into a contract that is with computer people

I stopped reading as soon as you mentioned Computer People - personally I wouldn't touch them with yours...

Orangutan
6th June 2007, 13:07
[to which i would say, that's fine but would you castigate a permanent employee that decides they wish to switch to another role or employee the same way? They, after all, always get a notice period, why should we be different?]

um, because we are businesses providing a service ?

Ardesco
6th June 2007, 13:41
to which i would say, that's fine but would you castigate a permanent employee that decides they wish to switch to another role or employee the same way? They, after all, always get a notice period, why should we be different?

Because we aren't permie's, we are a business. You'll be asking for employment rights next.....

Seriously why are you even contracting in the first place, it's people like you who make life difficult for the rest of us.

Euro-commuter
6th June 2007, 15:11
> I do not expect to have to give them a notice clause that
> enables them to cut short their service. I do on the other hand
> want to be able to chuck them out if they are s***.

So in other words the truth of the matter is that the side with the money will have upper hand in negotiations and I doubt big companies are even keen to "negotiate" terms of the contracts they offer.

My view is that contracts should be even -- perhaps there is a need for a law stating simply that terms like that can't be uneven.AtW do you ever stop feeling that your opinions should be imposed by the force of law?

Yes the side with the money will have the upper hand in negotiations. Where I come from we don't see that as a lack of regulation, we say that the man who pays the piper calls the tune.

Euro-commuter
6th June 2007, 15:14
Thus it has always been my policy and always will be when i see imbalanced termination clause's, of not signing. If they want me to "commit" they better be willing to do so to the same degree otherwise i am forced to question their "good faith"I have never questioned an agent's "good faith" in all my years of contracting.

I have always simply assumed that they don't have any. It has worked for me.

sasguru
6th June 2007, 15:16
AtW do you ever stop feeling that your opinions should be imposed by the force of law?

.

You can take the man out of the Soviet Union but you can't etc etc.

M@H
6th June 2007, 15:29
The "no notice" period "you can't leave" bit is to stop you leaving the job and making the agency look stupid, however you will doubtless find that the company you work for will be happy to entertain an informal negotiation with your line manager with regards to leaving. If the company is happy for you to leave (by negotation) after say 4 weeks of you giving notice then they can instruct the Agency that they no longer need your services therefore the bit on the other side of the contract kicks in and you have achieved what you needed to. In ALL contracts I have had in the last 3 years there has been a "no notice" bit on my side back to the agency (again so I don't make them look stupid to the client) but with an agreed oral contract that I can disucss and agree termination directly with my manager at the actual client company end. The client company won't want you there if you don't want to be, and it is not them putting in the "no notice" clause, there will be enough termination clauses between them and the agency to sink a battleship anyway in their own contractual agreement.

SallyAnne
6th June 2007, 15:32
That was a long paragraph!

M@H
6th June 2007, 15:33
That was a long paragraph!

This one is shorter :D

The Farmer
6th June 2007, 16:05
Whatever happened to Stehuk?

He liked writing the densest prose I've ever seen... never read much of it though.

He didn't like paragraphs either...


Now known as Sasguru

HTH

Paddy
6th June 2007, 19:32
IBM has no more value on your CV these days that PC World. The Big Blue dinosaur is on its last legs and is living off old patents and bought up service contracts.

Many of the people working for IBM are actually staff taken on when buying third party contracts, RSA Insurance for one. Many of these transferred staff are hopeless at their jobs.

There are two main suppliers or human resources, Manpower and CP. CP are in competition with Manpower and therefore they push the point to IBM that they supply temps and CP claims it has many temps on their books. Hence why the CP contract is so rigid.

IBM can't get their head around that the “temps” are really contractors. I did a spell with IBM and they (and I am putting this mildly) were flouting UK laws left right and centre. IBM are a law unto themselves.

2uk
6th June 2007, 20:44
:rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes: Ok , say we wanna leave before the contract end. Why don’t’ we just execute the substitute right ? We’ve been with the client for some time , we know the ins and outs. We know what kind of skill is needed to do the job and we can find a sub-contractor. ??