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Even part-time work sucks (or blows)...
Old 03-03-2004, 12:48 AM   #1
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Even part-time work sucks (or blows)...

Well, it happened. I have been working part-time as a consultant for almost a year now and have been looking for a reason to go into retirement full-time and my client has just given me one. Apparently, in this brave new world, working for a wage is not enough. The client has demanded that if, on the laughable occasion, I do work any OT, the first hour I will not be able to charge for. They have also said that they are removing my right to give them notice but are retaining theirs. Welcome to the world of Charles Dickens. Oh, and on the off hand that I decide not respond to their "requests", they will be made mandatory anyhow (which is in breach of contract, but nevermind).

I really should thank them but it is very sad that after being with the client for over 6 years, some HR thumb-twiddler has decided that it would be a great way to improve profits by squeezing the consultants. My contract ends in June and that will be that.
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Re:  Gotta break the code...
Old 03-03-2004, 04:25 PM   #2
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Re:  Gotta break the code...

All of that sounds like HR-speak for "You're fired, but we want you to quit first".

Or maybe they've been reading your posts!
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Re: Even part-time work sucks (or blows)...
Old 03-03-2004, 08:45 PM   #3
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Re: Even part-time work sucks (or blows)...

Humm...

If you have worked for them for 6 years as a consultant, have not held yourself out to others (or their conditions were so onerous that you couldn't) you may have an employment relationship with all the tax and benefit consequences for the company - particularly if the work was performed at their or their customer's place of business. Mind you I am not a lawyer, just a former Sr. Employee Relations Specialist with 26 years labor law enforcement.

Read your contract carefully, write out your worst case and see if you could live with that.

If yes, then get some back bone and face them down. Know what you want. This is a business agreement after all, and they may have significant exposure if things can't be resolved to your satisfaction.

Don't telegraph what you intend to do if it can't be resolved, but I recommend finding a pit bull plaintiff labor lawyer

Been there, done that...
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Re: Even part-time work sucks (or blows)...
Old 03-03-2004, 09:04 PM   #4
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Re: Even part-time work sucks (or blows)...

Oops-- I thought you had been a consultant for 6 years. Evidently you have been an employee and then became a consultant. Although the company doesn't have as much $ at risk, the risk of an employer-employee relationship is MUCH higher for the company. If there are benefits that have a length of service component your los would be tacked. If health benefits are in play and a member of your family has had an expensive illness, or COBRA is applicable things could get interesting.

I note that your profile says you are in Europe. If your work was out of the USA then other statutes may apply.
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Re: Even part-time work sucks (or blows)...
Old 03-04-2004, 12:02 AM   #5
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Re: Even part-time work sucks (or blows)...

Indeed, I am working in the UK at the moment. It is not quite as straightforward as simply standing my ground. After talking to several other consultants, it appears this is an across the board (i.e. global) change to all consultant contracts. They have given everyone 4 weeks notice of the changes. The feeling is that if you don't like the changes, then hasta la vista, baby.

My sponsor (the actual human being that sees my work) has been kind enough to nudge, nudge, wink, wink the whole thing under the carpet. Sign it and we will all ignore it, he says. But when crunch time comes, I'm not sure he will be so flexible.

We were tinkering with the idea of moving back to Canada, this has just moved things from the back to the front burner. The last thing I want to do is cause myself any agro over something that, financially, causes me little or no harm. I do feel sorry for the guys left behind in this mess, though.

I just see this as the way of the world at the moment. Until employment is once again plentiful, and in my profession it's an if not a when, I don't see working conditions moving in a happier direction.

Contract expires at the end of June. I, probably, will bite the bullet and sign. I am pretty well setting my own hours and will make it quite clear that, given the onerous conditions of their contract, I will do no overtime whatsoever. I know they won't give me 28 days notice, as it will take at least twice that long to hire and train someone new to continue.

Finally, I don't think anyone there reads this board, they are far too busy working their lives away, except maybe in HR.
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Re: Even part-time work sucks (or blows)...
Old 03-04-2004, 12:34 PM   #6
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Re: Even part-time work sucks (or blows)...

Quote:
hasta la vista, baby.
Hey, well you know the lingo and you're not US born, you have a pretty good shot at being the next governor of california.

Hit the weights and see you in a couple of years!
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Re: Even part-time work sucks (or blows)...
Old 03-05-2004, 07:34 AM   #7
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Re: Even part-time work sucks (or blows)...

Quote:
The client has demanded that if, on the laughable occasion, I do work any OT, the first hour I will not be able to charge for.
So always pad your work hours by an additional hour! Problem solved.


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Re: Even part-time work sucks (or blows)...
Old 03-05-2004, 08:58 AM   #8
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Re: Even part-time work sucks (or blows)...

Quote:
So always pad your work hours by an additional hour! *Problem solved.
Tsk, tsk. Very naughty.

Reality is I no longer do OT. After years of evenings and weekends ruined by pagers and cell phones, I refuse to work more than a back breaking 6 hours a day, less if I can help it. It's the principle of the thing. I believe that no-one should treat other people in such a crass and devious manner.

I have told them that I will not sign a contract that required my company to provide services for which it will not be compensated. So, as a compromise, my company will not work a stich of OT, which is no skin off my nose. I have also told them that I would make any future contracts equal in length to their notice period as anything else would not be fair. They seem to have bought this. At any rate I am hanging the skates up at the end of June so the jokes on them.
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