Contractors' Questions: What to do if a rate cut looms?
Contractor’s Question: Although I haven’t seen sweeping pay cuts for a while, I’ve heard whispers of an impending rate reduction at my client’s London office where cost-saving has already begun. Is there anything I can do?
Expert’s Answer: Firstly, it’s worth pointing out that we haven’t really seen these kind of ‘take it or leave’ pay cut tactics on a large scale since 2008. Nonetheless, there are often instances of cuts around this time of year; for example when RBS brought in a 10% rate cut and when Royal Dutch Shell cuts IT contractor pay rates.
We generally see an upswing in IT contractors registering with us for a new contract once a cut takes effect. In short, contractors quietly put themselves ‘on the market’ while accepting the cut to the client’s face.
So if you’re staring at a rate cut (or an enforced holiday), our advice is that it’s always better to be billing while you’re looking. So update your CV, speak to your favourite recruiters and put yourself on the market for a better opportunity. Seek and generally-speaking; ye shall find!
The expert was Natalie Bowers of contractor recruitment business Bowers Partnership.