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Anyone with experience of IT contracting?

(21 Posts)
BestIsWest Fri 12-Dec-14 14:44:29

I've worked in It for years but beginning to feel unsettled in my current role. I have a huge commute too and can't see me doing it forever.

A contract has come up in a place I'd love to work. It's local, I have the experience and I've worked on their systems in the past. But it's a 6 month rolling contract. It's more than double what I earn now but I know nothing about contracting, contract rates and the implications of tax, Ni, pensions leave etc.

I have applied for it but wonder if anyone could give me any tips or the benefit of their experience.

BestIsWest Fri 12-Dec-14 14:45:16

PS I'm 51, am I too old to start thinking about contracting?

AlphaBravoHenryFoxtons Fri 12-Dec-14 14:46:30

I would advise you to go and see an accountant. It may be tax efficient depending on your circumstances (and contract) to set up a company.

BestIsWest Fri 12-Dec-14 16:29:34

Thank you. I don't even know where to start!

Hoppinggreen Fri 12-Dec-14 21:30:09

You will need to set up a company I think in order to get paid and then do a company tax return each year and pay the tax as required.
There are umbrella companies who will do this for you but I assume ether would take a cut.
I'm not sure if it still applies but be aware of IR35 as well

BIWI Fri 12-Dec-14 21:33:18

DH is 56 and has just started contracting!

Definitely get yourself an accountant. I think you need to set yourself up a a company, but you need proper advice about tax and VAT.

From my perspective, the advice I would give you would be to make sure you understand what the contract really involves - will it be renewed after the six months and what if it isn't? What other opportunities will there be for you?

CrazyOldBagLady Fri 12-Dec-14 21:58:39

I did it for a few months. I didn't bother starting my own company and getting an accountant, I just went with an umbrella company. I gave about £60 a month (5 yrs ago) and they looked after all the tax, timesheets and expenses. The one I used was Giant, but there are many out there. If I was going to do it again for a longer period I would start up my own company, but I haven't looked into all the ins and outs.

I don't really see what age has got to do with it though? I have known many contractors your age and older.

BestIsWest Sat 13-Dec-14 08:48:52

I'm just scared that at my age, if the contract doesn't get renewed, how easily will I find something else. In IT at the moment it seems to me that experience isn't valued as much as youth.

I do know from a contact that it is likely to be at least 9 months ant it's replacing a permanent employee who has resigned.

Hmm. I may be overthinking this given that I may not even get an interview!

DM's friend is an accountant so I might have a chat with her.

BIWI Sat 13-Dec-14 10:13:53

I think you're right to be concerned - even though employers aren't supposed to discriminate on the basis of age, they so very clearly do. But I'd research the market well before you make a decision, and don't let this put you off. Working for yourself can be hugely satisfying, not to say lucrative!

I think the key things are to make sure that your partner is fully supportive of you, and that he won't get resentful if you do end up with periods out of work. You also need to make sure that you have a financial cushion to tide you over those periods.

But at least the advantage is that if it's a longer contract like 9 months, you can relax for a while before you have to look for the next one.

The other thing to do would be to find yourself a good agent - there are loads of IT recruitment consultants out there, and the majority, from what I've seen from DH's efforts, are pretty crap!

ignominious Sat 13-Dec-14 10:18:36

I used giant as well! That's not particularly a recommendation, I'd forgotten smile
I know loads of men way over your age who contract but I feel like it might be different for older women trying to get jobs? However if it's double your current salary surely you can do it for six months and if necessary spend six months finding the next thing?

cheminotte Sat 13-Dec-14 10:26:06

I do contracting and use an umbrella company. I would say go for it, but keep a chunk back to pay for time between jobs, holiday and sickness. The 6 months may well be extended over and over again, or if it doesn't work out you or they can stop it a lot sooner.

BestIsWest Sat 13-Dec-14 19:33:57

DH is brilliantly supportive and thinks I should go for it. We do have a nest egg and no mortgage so there would be no immediate financial worries.

BIWI Sat 13-Dec-14 19:35:24

Do it! How exciting grin

Working for yourself is brilliant!

BIWI Sat 13-Dec-14 19:35:29

Do it! How exciting grin

Working for yourself is brilliant!

BestIsWest Sat 13-Dec-14 19:54:36

Will have to get the job first BIWI. But I have bought a new dress in the hope I get an interview. (2 sizes smaller thanks to BC wink )

BIWI Sat 13-Dec-14 21:29:40

Hurrah flowers

Siarie Sat 13-Dec-14 21:33:59

Check out the above, they have loads of guides and tailored advice on their forums.

EssexMummy123 Sun 14-Dec-14 22:52:08


I've contracted for many years, Giant seem to have a reasonable reputation if you want to use an umbrella company, a Ltd might save you a little more from the tax man - not all accountants are created equal though, one with experience of IT contractors is probably a good start.

The rate might be more than double what you earn now but is it a fair day rate for the role? check out and compare on sites like jobserve and cwjobs.

Ask at the interview if the project is likely to go on for longer than 6 months e.g. if it is there's a good chance that you'll be extended, if not, do other contracts come up in your area?

Finally - BE CONFIDENT IN YOUR INTERVIEW have an opinion even if it's different from your interviewers, the idea is they are looking to hire an expert who's an expert from day 1, don't expect any ramp up time. Good luck.

BestIsWest Mon 15-Dec-14 06:03:56

Thanks Essex, you have put into words what I've been thinking. The day rate seems fair having looked at CWjobs. However, I doubt I'd get another contract so close to home but I could go back to commuting which I do now.

BC by the way is BIWIs low carb bootcamp.

shahsmit Thu 31-Mar-16 07:29:39

You can also have a look at IT Contractors UK

JamesB1 Thu 30-Jun-16 13:03:10

Message deleted by MNHQ for Spam

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