Contract terminated, options? Contract terminated, options?
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  1. #1

    Nervous Newbie


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    Default Contract terminated, options?

    As a long term contractor, 30+ years, I recently suffered a weird contract termination by a public sector company in Scotland who had assessed the contract as Outside IR35. The reasons given for the termination was that on a day I was working out of office, with prior agreement of the Client, I was:
    ‘...not logged on and is therefore neither visible nor contactable.‘

    Note: my contract neither states required working times or duration, nor that I be logged on! The ‘visible’ part of the above statement is particularly worrying as it indicates a thought process that equates the lack of online activity with lack of work and the monitoring of such as acceptable.

    I’m wondering if such situations are becoming more common as I’ve never heard of one like it?
    And I’m obviously interested in any actions that could be take if such was to happen again!

    Thoughts anyone?

  2. #2

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    what's this to do with IR35?
    you got caught watching cricket all day.
    general, please?
    Entropy is NOT what it used to be.
    Inertia, however........................

  3. #3

    I Am Legend


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    Why were you not logged on?
    Fight HMRC now! Help sue HMRC individual officers/government ministers for malfeasance in office. Visit https://www.loanchargejustice.com/ and scroll to the bottom of the page to donate.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by BrilloPad View Post
    Why were you not logged on?
    see above
    Entropy is NOT what it used to be.
    Inertia, however........................

  5. #5

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    How long had you been working at the client, not 30 years I hope.

    I suspect, if this is a true story, your face didn't fit and they wanted to get rid of you.

  6. #6

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    I do this all of the time. When I want to actually get some work done, log out of IM, Skype or Teams or whatever the client likes using.

    They can email me or pick up the phone if its urgent.

    You 'do' have some sent emails from during that day to prove you were working right?
    Document or code check-ins or modifies with date stamps, etc etc.

    Come on, its not that hard....

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by BR14 View Post
    see above
    There’s a Powershell script that interacts with the UX and keeps you available. Just say you missed the IM whilst being really busy.
    See You Next Tuesday

  8. #8

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    I've seen this at two clients, one private and one public. In both cases it was the final straw. People had been complaining about them and comments like 'he's working from home', 'oh. I'll have to wait until tomorrow to get a reply' were standard.

    You might think it's a one off but I'll bet everything I have the client doesn't think so.

    Nothing else you can do about it now.
    'CUK forum personality of 2011 - Winner - Yes really!!!!

  9. #9

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    WFH - the 'W' means working.
    at your desk, in your home office.
    online.
    contactable during core hours <or whatever arrangement you have>
    'phone on.
    etc.
    Entropy is NOT what it used to be.
    Inertia, however........................

  10. #10

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    Interesting, in those 30+ years of contracting I’ve never had anyone suggest that you can’t be working unless you’re logged onto the clients network, seriously?! So when I block out half a day to go through vendors RFI responses along with the associated Gartner and Forrester research I’m not actually working unless I’m logged in to the Clients network? As for contactable, ever heard of the phone?

    The relevance of IR35 to the query is that I’ve always worked outside it and therefore considered how I go about producing a deliverable as well as where I am located when working on it as being within my purview, unless specifically agreed within the contract i.e. working location, core office hours etc are stated. In this case the ‘outside IR35’ contract makes no such restrictions so how can the Client direct them and maintain that the contract is outside IR35?

    PS. This one’s long past so my interest is how others avoid such situations in the current climate. For me contract has been king, if it’s not in the contract then it’s not enforceable. But with the above experience it seams that a Client is able to direct working restrictions and then claim a breach as justification for contract termination. I’m left wondering what the point of a contract is?

    PPS. I should note that at the time I did point out to the Client that nobody had actually tried to contact me so it looked like the contract was terminated due to my Skype icon not being green...
    Last edited by Contra42; 26th February 2020 at 22:14.

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