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Work contract - AIBU to expect full pay?

(9 Posts)
sparklewater Thu 25-Jun-20 09:47:14

Posting for traffic as I really can't work out if IABU or not.

I am self employed and one of my clients employees me on a contract basis, in that there's a project I work on annually and they pay me a set rate. Historically, this remains the same regardless of the amount of work involved.

I was give the option early on to be paid as a lump sum or to spread the payments over the year. I chose the latter. (This is important I think, as if I had chosen the former I would have already been paid for this year)

My most recent invoice has not been paid and I have been called to a meeting next week to discuss financial arrangements and next year's plans.

There has been less of the original work because of Covid, but also a degree of additional work because of Covid.

AIBU to expect that this year's pay should remain the same? Or should have been addressed ages ago if that wasn't going to be the case? The contract runs from January so I'd have the full amount already if I was paid in one 'hit' - but equally, the amount of work has been less, so should it reflect that?

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Youngatheart00 Thu 25-Jun-20 09:50:57

You’re not being unreasonable, as it is your livelihood, but it is worth being highly prepared for that meeting.

Do you have a sense of how greatly impacted the business has been financially by covid?

Did you sign a contract with them (regarding the scope of work and payment?)

Definitely go prepared ready to re-pitch on why your services are so essential and how you’ve adapted to support them through covid etc. Do you have a sense of how many hours you’ve spent?

Nottherealslimshady Thu 25-Jun-20 09:53:50

As much as you're technically entitled to the same amount of money. You may need to take Into account that their financial situation may have changed and they need to make cuts. Just like people are having to take pay cuts or reduce the price of the products they supply to businesses.

Hingeandbracket Thu 25-Jun-20 09:58:00

You say you are self employed but hen start to sound like an employee.

Surely the arrangement is between two businesses - a contract for the provision of services, not employment?

So the contract terms are key really.

With that said, there's no point trying to enforce the contract if they can't realistically pay you, or if doing so would destroy any working relationship between you (assuming you care).

Stop thinking like an employee (unless you think you really are one).

AnnaBanana333 Thu 25-Jun-20 10:05:10

You need to think of the long game. Is it more important to you to be paid as usual for 2020 or to continue working with this company from 2021 onwards?

If these people have always paid you and treated you well then it's unlikely they're trying it on but genuinely need to assess their finances.

Everybody in my company has taken a pay cut because otherwise we won't have jobs. Half my team is facing redundancy. Plenty of other companies are in the same boat, or worse.

sparklewater Thu 25-Jun-20 10:25:06

Thanks all.

I don't think I am thinking like an employee really - they are good clients, we have been working together for years now and I expect that to continue for the forseeable, so I don't want to make the relationship difficult.

RE: the support I have offered during Covid I would estimate it has taken around 50% of the time my usual work would have taken...

I think I'll take the hit on this year - those of you that have pointed out that many people have had to take pay cuts have a good point. And yes, the business has really suffered.

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cabbageking Thu 25-Jun-20 10:32:57

You need to put this to paper and evidence what you have done and what needs doing. This is a business contract and you need a argue your case based on fact. If you have done less work and they ask for a reduction you need data for any reasonable reduction. If you expect a contract next year this needs renewing. What about previous years, who has gained or lost? Them or you? Don't lose the whole contract for the sake of a small reduction.
Do your research for the meeting so you are prepared for all options.

Serendipity79 Thu 25-Jun-20 11:01:24

At this point in time, companies are looking for flexibility if they've been hit hard by the impact of Covid. I'm working with a couple of third party suppliers right now. I sat them both down (virtually of course) a month ago, outlined that the company needed to make cuts financially, and that this would impact the project work we had planned out for the rest of the year.

Company 1 said lets re-plan together, lets look at the minimum viable product and what could be pushed into future development. Asked if I am happy to agree a revised contract for the 6 months we have left on the project, reduced the costs, have a few less resources, and do less work.

Company 2 quoted contractual terms at me for the 6 months we have left and insisted that even if I lose resources they will still expect to be paid 100% for the project that we can now only do 50% of. My firm has to reduce FTE by 200 to put this into context.

Company 2 will not be working with me next year. Not because I don't want to pay them, or because Ii have no respect for contracts, but because they know the financial hit we've taken (large travel company) and they aren't willing to compromise despite bragging that Covid has increased their business levels as there is now a higher demand for some of their goods and services.

Sometimes its about the relationship and the potential other business you could get from a company saying "Oh yes Sparklewater behaved impeccably during Covid - Really understanding, very flexible, would definitely recommend"

sparklewater Thu 25-Jun-20 11:41:01

In previous years I have taken on additional work for no extra fee but that has also been in response to a different set of difficulties and the natural progression of the work needed.

If they try to pay me nothing then of course I'll present my case, but I think a reduced amount will be fair enough (to a degree!).

The main issue - which they have already apologised for - is that they didn't address any of this with me and have let me carry on as if everything is normal.

Even if they had I would have done the crisis-management work anyway, as much of it was essential. But that's just future-proofing the work for next year as well, so it's ok.

@serendipity79 - company 2 sound awful!

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