Do you bill the initial onboarding period? Do you bill the initial onboarding period?
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  1. #1

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    Question Do you bill the initial onboarding period?

    Hi,

    I recently signed a contract with a company that works for another client. Although my contract has officially 'started', the company is being incredibly slow in onboarding me. They didn't even mention that there is an onboarding process going on. So, this is my best guess as to why they haven't given me any work yet. Communication is very poor, with my reporting person only interested in responding to what I ask on the text messages- if they feel like it. A call is always cut short.

    No email account created yet, got the laptop after a week, no documentation is being sent over to get me up to date, nothing. All my previous works started on day one. So, this is new to me.

    Is this fairly common? Do they expect me not to bill for this period? I rejected another opportunity for this and now I might lose billing if that is the case. Can someone please shed some light on this and give me some sanity.

    Thanks,
    B

  2. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by bbp View Post
    Hi,

    I recently signed a contract with a company that works for another client. Although my contract has officially 'started', the company is being incredibly slow in onboarding me. They didn't even mention that there is an onboarding process going on. So, this is my best guess as to why they haven't given me any work yet. Communication is very poor, with my reporting person only interested in responding to what I ask on the text messages- if they feel like it. A call is always cut short.

    No email account created yet, got the laptop after a week, no documentation is being sent over to get me up to date, nothing. All my previous works started on day one. So, this is new to me.

    Is this fairly common? Do they expect me not to bill for this period? I rejected another opportunity for this and now I might lose billing if that is the case. Can someone please shed some light on this and give me some sanity.

    Thanks,
    B
    Keep hunting for another contract - given the lack of priority in getting you started the work you are doing isn't important so could easily be binned.
    merely at clientco for the entertainment

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by bbp View Post
    Hi,

    I recently signed a contract with a company that works for another client. Although my contract has officially 'started', the company is being incredibly slow in onboarding me. They didn't even mention that there is an onboarding process going on. So, this is my best guess as to why they haven't given me any work yet. Communication is very poor, with my reporting person only interested in responding to what I ask on the text messages- if they feel like it. A call is always cut short.

    No email account created yet, got the laptop after a week, no documentation is being sent over to get me up to date, nothing. All my previous works started on day one. So, this is new to me.

    Is this fairly common? Do they expect me not to bill for this period? I rejected another opportunity for this and now I might lose billing if that is the case. Can someone please shed some light on this and give me some sanity.

    Thanks,
    B
    Submit time sheets or invoices and keep looking for something else. You've turned down billable work in order to be available for them, if they haven't got themselves organised that's their issue, you are still on the clock.
    "Being nice costs nothing and sometimes gets you extra bacon" - Pondlife.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by eek View Post
    Keep hunting for another contract - given the lack of priority in getting you started the work you are doing isn't important so could easily be binned.
    I'm not really sure about that as they needed me to join immediately. The 'interview' to signed contract took only 3 days, compared to others that have been going on for 2 months now!!

    1. What are your thoughts on billing for this period? Should I bill and let them challenge it if they want?
    2. Also, its 4-week notice as per the contract. Can I leave right away given that the work hasn't started?

  5. #5

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    talk to the company you're contracted to.
    If their client is slow they may well be happy for billing to commence. EThis only works if they can bill the client whilst waiting though.

    If you just bill them when they know you've done no work, it could set alarm bells ringing about your ethics.

    Pick up the phone and ring your handler.
    Be polite but forthright.
    I can't advise you what to say as I don't know the full ins and outs. You're going to have to make a judgement call.
    See You Next Tuesday

  6. #6

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    Not sure. It's quite common to come into the office for a new contract and for it to take a week for them to get you set up with access/hardware/software but you're in the office so of course you invoice for it.

    You should technically invoice for this too but I'm not sure if I would... you need to make a judgement call about whether this is an onboarding process (which you should bill for) or if it's a delayed start (which you wouldn't bill for)

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by jayn200 View Post
    you need to make a judgement call about whether this is an onboarding process (which you should bill for) or if it's a delayed start (which you wouldn't bill for)
    They created an account for me in their system on day 1. A couple of other 'starter' emails to my personal ID. I was able to log in and check my data. One of the fields was 'billability' which says I'm billable. I'm assuming that means they can bill their client from day 1.

    I could ask them if I can bill them, but having experienced similar companies, they would happily deny paying if there's a little chance that I'm expecting them not to.

  8. #8

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    It depends if on boarding means going through all kinds of permie introductions = Run away you are inside IR35 (unless you're ok with that)
    If it means getting your laptop and email etc - Stay and bill, pretend you're reading all documents on paper and participate in meetings where possible

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lance View Post
    it could set alarm bells ringing about your ethics.

    Pick up the phone and ring your handler.
    Right now, I'm concerned about their ethics. They haven't given me any communication on what's happening. My handler is no good at responding. They do not pick my calls often and when they do there are no pleasantries and calls cut short before I could ask more questions. Late responses to messages and sometimes no response at all.

    I highly doubt they'll give me a positive/useful response if I ask them about this. I have been given access to their system on day 1 which said I'm billable. My thought was to bill from day 1 as per the contract and see if they have a problem. Like I mentioned in another response, I have a feeling that asking will only end up losing the billing.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Eirikur View Post
    It depends if on boarding means going through all kinds of permie introductions = Run away you are inside IR35 (unless you're ok with that)
    If it means getting your laptop and email etc - Stay and bill, pretend you're reading all documents on paper and participate in meetings where possible
    No introductions at all except to the reporting person. They did create my account on day 1 and request a laptop and email. I got the laptop - although a week after the start date. Good signs to bill them?

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