Zero work to do on contract (confused!) Zero work to do on contract (confused!)
Page 1 of 9 123 ... LastLast
Posts 1 to 10 of 83
  1. #1

    Nervous Newbie


    Join Date
    Aug 2019
    Posts
    7

    Default Zero work to do on contract (confused!)

    I'm sorry if this is a long message - I've tried to be as clear/succinct as possible.

    I'm on my first contract - started in January on a 12-month contract for a large global company. I go into their London office four days and WFH Mondays. I am paid a decent daily rate. I'm set up as a limited company and am under contract with an agency.

    Since the start of my contract, I have had very little work to do. I report into one person as their support/deputy and do not sit on a team. When I started, I used to go with him to meetings and was invited on calls etc. I was given a small amount of work, all of which I delivered. Most of the work, however, had no context as I was not involved in wider discussions. I don’t own any projects of my own. Over time, I have stopped being invited to meetings to calls. And in more recent weeks, the work I am given has dwindled to nothing. Literally, for the last 8 - 12 weeks, I have had little to zero work. I have tried to carve out tasks of my own and presented him with opportunities for me, but nothing has materialized or been followed up.

    The work he has given me in the last few weeks has been arduous - real demeaning tasks - far below my skillset and level of experience, and not part of the "job description" or role I was employed to do. For example, the last project I was given was a large data-entry type project. I suspect he gave me this to keep me at occupied and out of his hair as I’d been pushing for work. This project filled my time for three weeks. I delivered it EOP Friday 2nd August, before going on holiday.

    I returned to work yesterday, after my holiday, and was expecting to find an email from my boss saying thank you for the work and outlining the next steps. My boss had not even acknowledged my email. Nothing. In fact, I returned from a week's holiday to only 24 emails, which were either spam or company-wide messages! No work and nothing from my boss. I WFH Mondays, so yesterday I was at home. Today, I am in the London office. I usually have a 1:1 meeting with my boss but, five minutes after we were due to meet, he postponed it until tomorrow.

    I've asked my boss countless times for more work. I've questioned the work I have been given - highlighting when things are not my expertise or below my level of experience. I’ve pushed to be involved in other projects that I know are going on, but he keeps blocking me. I don’t understand why. I feel on tenterhooks, like any day now he is going to say he no longer needs me. But this day does not come and I’ve been in this situation for months now.

    I am trying to think of the day-rate as a retainer but being without any work is draining my brain. I feel demoralised, demotivated, and depressed. I am becoming more and more miserable a person to be around. It’s having a negative effect on my family, friends and my new relationship. I used to be in a very senior position at the top of my career, and now I feel worthless and useless.


    Most of the organisation is made up of contractors - my boss is a contractor, but he has been with the company for four years. He proclaims to be exceptionally busy and that’s why he got a support (me), but he does not use me.
    Additionally, we work in an agile environment, hot desking, so when I do go into the office, I sit wherever I like. But, because I have no purpose or sense of being here, and no one needs me, I don't actually know anyone. After six months, I have made no friends or working relationships with anyone. I don't have any colleagues that I am working with on projects. I am only used now and again by my boss and he is "so busy", I never know where he is; I can go all week without even seeing him. Because my boss is a contractor, my boss's manager (a permie) approves my invoices. Part of me wants to go to her, as she is much senior, and explain the situation, but I am fearful of drawing attention to the fact I am being given no work as she may tell me I am no longer needed.

    My question is, is this normal? Is the onus on me to find work? Or is it my boss's responsibility as a manager to task me with projects? I have never been a contractor before, so I don't know if I am behaving correctly. I go in, do what I'm told to do and come home. But this has dwindled to nothing. I literally have no work.

    I've tried to talk to people about it, but they say I should shut up and enjoy receiving the money and that it's a dream come true to have no work but get paid for it. It truly is not. It is depressing and it genuinely is starting to affect my mental health.

    I’ve started looking for another perm job/contract but am not having much luck at the moment. I am getting to the point where I just want to walk away from here and never come back. But I can’t afford to be out of work.

    Any advice would be appreciated.

  2. #2

    Respect my authoritah!

    NotAllThere's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Far away from HMRC
    Posts
    20,987

    Default

    You've been in this position for months, and yet you can't afford to be out of work? As soon as you started to fear you might be canned (in fact, before), you should have been building up your reserves.

    If it weren't for the fact you can't afford it, I'd be telling you to quit. Working in such an environment does no one any good.
    Hmm. I'm beginning to suspect that you need to find all the packing the computer came in...

  3. #3

    My post count is Majestic

    northernladuk's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    40,506

    Default

    I only read half way through this. Your work there is done. Time to leave. I've been in the same situation and it's soul destroying. It's also an Ir35 risk as your defenses are being eroded. You are under D&C as they are going to just ask you to do whatever regardless of what you were brought in to do. You MoO is also potentially shot as they expect to keep you there and give you more work since you've done the agreed lot.

    It happens and is part of contracting but you can't stay there just because you want to. Work is done, nothing else left. Use your time to find something else and then go.

    P. S. He's not your boss. If the role is becoming and Ir35 risk don't make your attitude part of it.

    P. P. S. You could find you out on your arse with very little notice once they realise they've got to make a determination of the role ahead of April 2020. The risk will sit with them and if there is nothing to do they are either going to deem the role inside or will get rid.
    Last edited by northernladuk; 13th August 2019 at 11:11.
    'CUK forum personality of 2011 - Winner - Yes really!!!!

  4. #4

    My post count is Majestic

    northernladuk's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    40,506

    Default

    Maybe I should have read the rest but it backs up what I've already said.

    My question is, is this normal? Is the onus on me to find work? Or is it my boss's responsibility as a manager to task me with projects? I have never been a contractor before, so I don't know if I am behaving correctly. I go in, do what I'm told to do and come home. But this has dwindled to nothing. I literally have no work.
    This is bad form. As a contractor you are brought in to do a specific piece of work that should be detailed in your contract or a Statement of Work. If you just have a job title with no defined work you are acting like a permie and should be taxed as such inside. You come in, deliver a piece of work the client needs and then you leave.

    Being given work by the client is direction and control is bad. So is doing any other work beyond the original requirement so even you scrabbling to find something doesn't work.

    And as Nat said you should have been paying yourself the absolute minimum and saving the rest for a warchest in case the worst happens. This needs to be 6 months to a year ideally but after a couple of months you should have at least something to tide you over for a short while.
    Last edited by northernladuk; 13th August 2019 at 11:12.
    'CUK forum personality of 2011 - Winner - Yes really!!!!

  5. #5

    Should post faster


    Join Date
    Jul 2019
    Posts
    129

    Default

    I am in a very similar position.

    - Big project
    - Lots of people involved (mostly contractors) and not much to do
    - Line manager is a contractor and their line manager is a contractor too
    - Zero interaction with coworkers

    As you said, it's a draining experience. My advice:

    1) Build up your warchest and leave as soon as you can afford to
    2) In the meantime, try to learn new skills that will help you bag another gig (I don't know, have a look at job ads and see what skills are required that you don't have. Focus on those)
    3) Work from home more often

  6. #6

    More time posting than coding


    Join Date
    Jul 2019
    Posts
    216

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by PCTNN View Post
    3) "Work" from home more often
    Fixed that for you

  7. #7

    More time posting than coding


    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Posts
    220

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Bettz View Post
    I'm sorry if this is a long message - I've tried to be as clear/succinct as possible.

    I'm on my first contract - started in January on a 12-month contract for a large global company. I go into their London office four days and WFH Mondays. I am paid a decent daily rate. I'm set up as a limited company and am under contract with an agency.

    ....

    I am trying to think of the day-rate as a retainer but being without any work is draining my brain. I feel demoralised, demotivated, and depressed. I am becoming more and more miserable a person to be around. It’s having a negative effect on my family, friends and my new relationship. I used to be in a very senior position at the top of my career, and now I feel worthless and useless.


    ....
    Are you able to work couple more days from home ? If you could do say Monday and Tuesday, then you should look into flying out/taking a train somewhere on Friday returning on late Tuesday. Use Saturday & Sunday to check out the new city and work from there on Monday and Tuesday. Change of scenery could help.

  8. #8

    My post count is Majestic

    northernladuk's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    40,506

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by jbond007 View Post
    Are you able to work couple more days from home ? If you could do say Monday and Tuesday, then you should look into flying out/taking a train somewhere on Friday returning on late Tuesday. Use Saturday & Sunday to check out the new city and work from there on Monday and Tuesday. Change of scenery could help.
    Didn't for me. Fretting about having to face the gig when you get back spoils it. I just left and it was the best thing I ever did. Even being on the bench was an absolute relief and let me get my mojo back very quickly.
    'CUK forum personality of 2011 - Winner - Yes really!!!!

  9. #9

    Nervous Newbie


    Join Date
    Aug 2019
    Posts
    7

    Default

    Thank you everyone for your advice. It is a huge relief to know there are supportive people out there.
    I'm so glad to have found this site, this morning.

    My trouble with the war-chest is that I was made redundant last year from my permanent role and didn't receive much in the package - it only lasted a few months. Thus, when I took this contract in January, I had to use the first few months' pay to clear debt. I am now in a healthy position and do have a bit saved for a worst case scenario of being on the bench. But I'd probably only keep above water for three months.

    After reading your comments, I do feel like this role is a permie in the guise of a contract role. I was not given a project/statement of work, but rather brought in on a job role and description. Though, I am doing none of the work detailed on it.

    You're absolutely right, my time here is done. I need to find something else pronto and move on. I will wait until my next invoice is paid and then consider the probability of leaving without another role. I am utterly deflated and feel constantly under a dark cloud with no sense of purpose in life. Being alone here is depressing.

    I've just had a week off for a holiday, and only back two days and it's soul destroying.

    I have stayed as long as I have for the money, and people will say I'm mad to leave without a new job or indeed a lower-paying job. But I need my sanity and mojo back.

    Can anyone recommend any good job sites for contractors? I was approached via Linkedin for this one.

  10. #10

    Should post faster


    Join Date
    Jul 2019
    Posts
    129

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Bettz View Post

    Can anyone recommend any good job sites for contractors? I was approached via Linkedin for this one.
    It all depends on what you do.

    For IT roles I'd say jobserve.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •