Turned up for first day, then had to leave Turned up for first day, then had to leave
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  1. #1

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    Question Turned up for first day, then had to leave

    Bit of weird one this. I interviewed for a position which I got. Contracts signed with Agency and start date agreed. It was all quite rushed as the client wanted my to start ASAP.

    This is a gig where I'll be working mostly from home, so was agreed that I'd do the first week at the clients office. Booked up a hotel for the week etc. etc.

    Turn up at the office, sit at my desk, login and get ready to start the day.

    The hiring manager then approaches and explains there's been a slight cock up with the contract and that I have to leave. Once it's been sorted they'll give a bell and I can come back in. Should be sorted by lunchtime.

    So here I am still in my hotel room 3 days later, everyday being told it's being sorted and then being told it will be done by the end of the day and then it's not.

    Have had conversations with the agency, there's some discrepancy between the Agency and Client contracts, but the clients has only just informed the agency of this (I know how the client company works and know that's it's a mess and full of internal politics).

    Can I still bill for these days? I've signed my contract and provided everything that's needed of me. I've turned up and been on site as agreed.

    What happens if the client can't agree terms with the agency and they bin the whole gig off.

    Have been contracting for 15 years and I've never come across something like this, have used the agency for a number of gigs. They're a big agency and always been very professional.

  2. #2

    Prof Cunning @ Oxford Uni

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cadbury View Post
    Can I still bill for these days? ... I've turned up and been on site as agreed.
    Yes you can bill for them. Will you get paid? That's the question you should ask.

    If the client signs your timesheet, then you should get paid, work on that one, in the mean time, find out what the hotel's cancellation policy is for tomorrow and Thursday, then try to get a signed timesheet and go home.
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  3. #3

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    You bill for the work you do (or turn up to site for at least). You turned up on Monday so time and effort was spent therefore billable. I would assume they do billing in half days so it would be half a day not the full one. The client has no work for you the next two days so not billable. Your contract is one of T&M and if you've spent neither there is no billing.

    It's the same theory for client enforced xmas or your holidays. No work is offered on xmas day or bank holidays so you don't get paid.

    That is the nature of being a flexible workforce.

    All that being said the client 'might' not understand contractors and agree to pay, like some do for un worked notice period but that's more failing of them to understand their own contract than them being obliged to do so.

    What happens if they bin the gig? For you? Nothing. No work no pay. They could serve you notice if they want but still not provide any work so the same thing. The only thing that will affect you is that you are even less likely to get your half day.
    Last edited by northernladuk; 5th September 2018 at 11:18.
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  4. #4

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    I would be billing for the first day and if you'd agreed up front that your accommodation costs for the first week would be rechargeable I would still bill for those too. Beyond that, if you're on a day rate, I don't think you can really expect to bill for days you haven't done any work - one of the risks of contracting unfortunately.

  5. #5

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    Tell the client that if they want you to hang around all week while they try to sort out their mess then the least they need to do is pay for your hotel costs. Otherwise go home and wait for confirmation of them being ready for you to go back on site with the caveat if they continue to mess you around they will be paying for your time too.

    Depends how desperate you are for the contract as to how much faff at your own expense you put up with.

    Keep looking for other contacts, especially if it drags on beyond this week, as the longer it goes on the more likely it's a non-starter.

    Be mindful that whatever you do now in terms of being easy going may be used against you in future if they think they can mess you around so easily at no cost to themselves.

    On the bright side, relating to IR35 this is a good example of MOO where the client is not obliged to give you work or pay you for time not spent delivering whatever you are contracted for and can be used as a pointer to being outside IR35.
    Maybe tomorrow, I'll want to settle down. Until tomorrow, I'll just keep moving on.

  6. #6

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    Just a few things....

    Quote Originally Posted by Hobosapien View Post
    Tell the client that if they want you to hang around all week while they try to sort out their mess then the least they need to do is pay for your hotel costs. Otherwise go home and wait for confirmation of them being ready for you to go back on site with the caveat if they continue to mess you around they will be paying for your time too.
    I'd argree with going home. Just tell them you'll be back as soon as you can. If that's the next day or two then that's their problem. They won't bin you over a day later starting.

    Personally I wouldn't bring expenses in to it. My relationship with the client starts and ends at the their gates. Assuming the OP doesn't have an agreement in place regarding the hotel then his travel is his business not the clients. I've seen contractors complaining to clients about travel expenses and the like and it's never gone down very well. But that's purely IMO and I know there could be wiggle room if you willing to risk it.


    On the bright side, relating to IR35 this is a good example of MOO where the client is not obliged to give you work or pay you for time not spent delivering whatever you are contracted for and can be used as a pointer to being outside IR35.
    Oh dear.. Surely it's a good example of LACK of MoO?

    Also MoO is not about the contract you are in. It's about being given work above and beyond the agreed SoW. There are certain obligations when in contract. This is more about the flexible T&M way we work that permies don't.

    You are right it's a strong pointer outside though. There has been a case where the contractor was sent home due to a systems failure which weighed in his favour. That said it's technically the same as xmas, furloughs, contractor holidays and other non worked time so if any of those occur you've kind of got the same argument but in the OP's case it's very clear.
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  7. #7

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    Bill for the first day only as you showed up and were under contract
    Resume applying for other contracts immediately, if you had interviews planned don't cancel them. I usually only cancel them when I'm pretty sure (I know you can never be 100% sure) I will be staying for a while

  8. #8

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    I'd be asking the client to sign time sheets for the time you spend waiting. If they won't then go home and start looking for other contracts.
    If they refuse to sign the time sheet you are pretty stuffed.
    If they finally get you on board it's up to you if you want to write it off.
    If they don't get you on board, I'd be invoicing for the full week and following it through with the dunning process (on general principle not necessarily expecting to get anything). You might get one day, or you might get 5 days and your expenses.
    See You Next Tuesday

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by northernladuk View Post
    Personally I wouldn't bring expenses in to it.

    The client having agreed to a predominantly WFH contract situation would mean they should be aware of the inconvenience of being left hanging around away from home, so more chance of them being sympathetic to the cost of such inconvenience. Worth a shot if the client seems amenable to such suggestions.

    OP, if they offer to pay in chocolate, accept it if you're a fruit and nut case.
    Maybe tomorrow, I'll want to settle down. Until tomorrow, I'll just keep moving on.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hobosapien View Post
    The client having agreed to a predominantly WFH contract situation would mean they should be aware of the inconvenience of being left hanging around away from home, so more chance of them being sympathetic to the cost of such inconvenience. Worth a shot if the client seems amenable to such suggestions.

    OP, if they offer to pay in chocolate, accept it if you're a fruit and nut case.
    Client won’t care one bit (if big co) after 3 days I suspect its more of a big issue (payment terms) than just crossing a few dots

    Keep looking , see the sights, download tinder and enjoy a few days of me time

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