IT Contractor treatment: is this normal?

Discussion in 'NZ Computing' started by Crash, Feb 12, 2008.

  1. Crash

    Crash Guest

    Today I completed a 6 month contract. 3 weeks or so ago I was offered
    another 3 month term - which was accepted. Today I was notified that
    the option to terminate me with 1 month's notice would be taken.

    Under the circumstances I find it hard to believe that at the time I
    was offered a 3 month renewal that the employer had any intention of
    ever offering 3 months work.

    I was under the impression that employers rarely exercised early
    contract termination - restricting them to misconduct or similar
    circumstances - because otherwise they become less attractive to new
    contract staff (would you take a contract with an employer with a
    track record of early termination?). Given these circumstances I
    believe that I should have been offered rolling one month extensions.
    I would not have been that happy but at least I would never have
    counted on a 3-month extension as I have with long-term travel
    commitments that are non-refundable (I live in Wellington and work in
    Auckland).

    So - how common is this type of behaviour?

    Crash.
    -----------------
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    Access your favorite newsgroups from home or on the road
    -----------------
     
    Crash, Feb 12, 2008
    #1
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  2. Crash wrote:
    > Today I completed a 6 month contract. 3 weeks or so ago I was offered
    > another 3 month term - which was accepted. Today I was notified that
    > the option to terminate me with 1 month's notice would be taken.
    >
    > Under the circumstances I find it hard to believe that at the time I
    > was offered a 3 month renewal that the employer had any intention of
    > ever offering 3 months work.
    >
    > I was under the impression that employers rarely exercised early
    > contract termination - restricting them to misconduct or similar
    > circumstances - because otherwise they become less attractive to new
    > contract staff (would you take a contract with an employer with a
    > track record of early termination?). Given these circumstances I
    > believe that I should have been offered rolling one month extensions.
    > I would not have been that happy but at least I would never have
    > counted on a 3-month extension as I have with long-term travel
    > commitments that are non-refundable (I live in Wellington and work in
    > Auckland).
    >
    > So - how common is this type of behaviour?
    >
    > Crash.
    > -----------------
    > www.Newsgroup-Binaries.com - *Completion*Retention*Speed*
    > Access your favorite newsgroups from home or on the road
    > -----------------



    Welcome to the real world. It happens, commercial considerations are
    normally the quoted consideration. Been there done that, but as a small
    aside, full time can be as bad as they vary your situations and rights
    to suit the so called commercial situation.

    The pity actually is as you said who would take another contract with
    them (I have contracted) but we (the contractor) only have peer word of
    mouth to pass these reputations to us.
     
    Collector€NZ, Feb 12, 2008
    #2
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  3. Crash

    Bobs Guest

    Crash wrote:
    > Today I completed a 6 month contract. 3 weeks or so ago I was offered
    > another 3 month term - which was accepted. Today I was notified that
    > the option to terminate me with 1 month's notice would be taken.
    >
    > Under the circumstances I find it hard to believe that at the time I
    > was offered a 3 month renewal that the employer had any intention of
    > ever offering 3 months work.
    >
    > I was under the impression that employers rarely exercised early
    > contract termination - restricting them to misconduct or similar
    > circumstances - because otherwise they become less attractive to new
    > contract staff (would you take a contract with an employer with a
    > track record of early termination?). Given these circumstances I
    > believe that I should have been offered rolling one month extensions.
    > I would not have been that happy but at least I would never have
    > counted on a 3-month extension as I have with long-term travel
    > commitments that are non-refundable (I live in Wellington and work in
    > Auckland).
    >
    > So - how common is this type of behaviour?
    >
    > Crash.
    > -----------------
    > www.Newsgroup-Binaries.com - *Completion*Retention*Speed*
    > Access your favorite newsgroups from home or on the road
    > -----------------


    What's the problem? They gave you one months notice. Seems fair enough
    to me. Contractors don't have the same protection as full time
    workers...but then again, they get paid more.

    Why do you live in Wellington and work in Auckland anyway? Weird.
     
    Bobs, Feb 12, 2008
    #3
  4. Crash

    JohnO Guest

    On Feb 12, 6:25 am, Crash <> wrote:
    > Today I completed a 6 month contract.  3 weeks or so ago I was offered
    > another 3 month term - which was accepted.  Today I was notified that
    > the option to terminate me with 1 month's notice would be taken.
    >
    > Under the circumstances I find it hard to believe that at the time I
    > was offered a 3 month renewal that the employer had any intention of
    > ever offering 3 months work.
    >
    > I was under the impression that employers rarely exercised early
    > contract termination - restricting them to misconduct or similar
    > circumstances - because otherwise they become less attractive to new
    > contract staff (would you take a contract with an employer with a
    > track record of early termination?).  Given these circumstances I
    > believe that I should have been offered rolling one month extensions.
    > I would not have been that happy but at least I would never have
    > counted on a 3-month extension as I have with long-term travel
    > commitments that are non-refundable (I live in Wellington and work in
    > Auckland).
    >
    > So - how common is this type of behaviour?
    >
    > Crash.
    > -----------------www.Newsgroup-Binaries.com- *Completion*Retention*Speed*
    > Access your favorite newsgroups from home or on the road
    > -----------------


    Very uncommon (never) in my experience, but I can see it could happen.
    Maybe the project got canned?

    Not much you can do really. One of the reasons IT contractors get paid
    more is thay have to face the prospect of being the first against the
    wall when projects dry up.
     
    JohnO, Feb 12, 2008
    #4
  5. In article <47b151bd$>, Collector€NZ did write:

    > The pity actually is as you said who would take another contract with
    > them (I have contracted) but we (the contractor) only have peer word of
    > mouth to pass these reputations to us.


    Sounds like a job for a contractor-oriented social-networking website...
     
    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, Feb 12, 2008
    #5
  6. Crash

    Crash Guest

    On Tue, 12 Feb 2008 21:35:38 +1300, Bobs
    <> wrote:

    [snip]
    >What's the problem? They gave you one months notice. Seems fair enough
    >to me. Contractors don't have the same protection as full time
    >workers...but then again, they get paid more


    So its OK to offer a renewal 3 weeks out from contract end, me to
    accept in good faith, then they give me a months notice 1 day before
    the renewal takes affect? I would consider this dodgy ethics to say
    the least and I wondered how common this might be
    >
    >Why do you live in Wellington and work in Auckland anyway? Weird.


    Fair comment. I have 22+ years experience in a development
    environment that was in the past a mainframe-only product that now has
    a Windows-based option. The customer base in NZ is limited and I
    choose to stick with whatever opportunities present themselves.

    I am Auckland born-and-bred but left in 1984. Apart from a brief
    spell of a year I have not lived in Auckland since - but have plied my
    trade in Oz, the USA and the UK then returned to Welly. Who, in their
    right mind, would come back to Auckland when affordable housing is
    south of Papakura, east of Howick, north of Albany and West of
    god-knows-where? Then there are the hordes of
    Asian-speaking-and-living Asians in the CBD. Thanks but Welly is far
    better and even has widespread rail-based public transport ;-)

    Crash.
    -----------------
    www.Newsgroup-Binaries.com - *Completion*Retention*Speed*
    Access your favorite newsgroups from home or on the road
    -----------------
     
    Crash, Feb 12, 2008
    #6
  7. Crash

    Crash Guest

    On Tue, 12 Feb 2008 00:37:04 -0800 (PST), JohnO <>
    wrote:

    [snip]
    >Very uncommon (never) in my experience, but I can see it could happen.
    >Maybe the project got canned?
    >

    No. Foreseeable drop in workload preceded renewal offer

    >Not much you can do really. One of the reasons IT contractors get paid
    >more is thay have to face the prospect of being the first against the
    >wall when projects dry up.


    Yeah. But to invoke termination on the last day of a contract after
    an offered renewal of 3 months was accepted a few weeks earlier?
    -----------------
    www.Newsgroup-Binaries.com - *Completion*Retention*Speed*
    Access your favorite newsgroups from home or on the road
    -----------------
     
    Crash, Feb 12, 2008
    #7
  8. Crash

    Bobs Guest

    Crash wrote:
    > On Tue, 12 Feb 2008 21:35:38 +1300, Bobs
    > <> wrote:
    >
    > [snip]
    >> What's the problem? They gave you one months notice. Seems fair enough
    >> to me. Contractors don't have the same protection as full time
    >> workers...but then again, they get paid more

    >
    > So its OK to offer a renewal 3 weeks out from contract end, me to
    > accept in good faith, then they give me a months notice 1 day before
    > the renewal takes affect?


    I must have missed that part in your original comments...that is pretty
    poor. Was it the same person?

    >I would consider this dodgy ethics to say
    > the least and I wondered how common this might be
    >> Why do you live in Wellington and work in Auckland anyway? Weird.

    >
    > Fair comment. I have 22+ years experience in a development
    > environment that was in the past a mainframe-only product that now has
    > a Windows-based option. The customer base in NZ is limited and I
    > choose to stick with whatever opportunities present themselves.
    >
    > I am Auckland born-and-bred but left in 1984. Apart from a brief
    > spell of a year I have not lived in Auckland since - but have plied my
    > trade in Oz, the USA and the UK then returned to Welly. Who, in their
    > right mind, would come back to Auckland when affordable housing is
    > south of Papakura, east of Howick, north of Albany and West of
    > god-knows-where? Then there are the hordes of
    > Asian-speaking-and-living Asians in the CBD. Thanks but Welly is far
    > better and even has widespread rail-based public transport ;-)


    I'm more interested in the travel - do you rent up here?

    >
    > Crash.
    > -----------------
    > www.Newsgroup-Binaries.com - *Completion*Retention*Speed*
    > Access your favorite newsgroups from home or on the road
    > -----------------
     
    Bobs, Feb 12, 2008
    #8
  9. Crash

    Chris Lim Guest

    On Feb 12, 10:18 pm, Crash <> wrote:
    > Yeah.  But to invoke termination on the last day of a contract after
    > an offered renewal of 3 months was accepted a few weeks earlier?


    Does sound unusual, but unless they have done this sort of thing
    before then not really dodgy. Why do you think they did it in this
    instance - did they give a reason? Maybe it was just poor planning on
    their part - some middle manager wanted you and got overruled higher
    up? As long as you don't think they did it just to piss you around
    then I don't think you should have any gripes.
     
    Chris Lim, Feb 12, 2008
    #9
  10. In article <>, Crash did write:

    > So its OK to offer a renewal 3 weeks out from contract end, me to
    > accept in good faith, then they give me a months notice 1 day before
    > the renewal takes affect?


    So you still a month's extension, less one day, don't you?
     
    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, Feb 12, 2008
    #10
  11. Crash

    Will Spencer Guest

    On Tue, 12 Feb 2008 22:13:01 +1300, Crash wrote:

    > On Tue, 12 Feb 2008 21:35:38 +1300, Bobs
    > <> wrote:
    >
    > [snip]
    >>What's the problem? They gave you one months notice. Seems fair enough
    >>to me. Contractors don't have the same protection as full time
    >>workers...but then again, they get paid more

    >
    > So its OK to offer a renewal 3 weeks out from contract end, me to
    > accept in good faith, then they give me a months notice 1 day before
    > the renewal takes affect? I would consider this dodgy ethics to say
    > the least and I wondered how common this might be
    >>
    >>Why do you live in Wellington and work in Auckland anyway? Weird.

    >
    > Fair comment. I have 22+ years experience in a development
    > environment that was in the past a mainframe-only product that now has
    > a Windows-based option. The customer base in NZ is limited and I
    > choose to stick with whatever opportunities present themselves.
    >
    > I am Auckland born-and-bred but left in 1984. Apart from a brief
    > spell of a year I have not lived in Auckland since - but have plied my
    > trade in Oz, the USA and the UK then returned to Welly. Who, in their
    > right mind, would come back to Auckland when affordable housing is
    > south of Papakura, east of Howick, north of Albany and West of
    > god-knows-where? Then there are the hordes of
    > Asian-speaking-and-living Asians in the CBD. Thanks but Welly is far
    > better and even has widespread rail-based public transport ;-)
    >
    > Crash.


    Yea, it's all too hard to make it in the big smoke. That's what they told
    me. The old "Scarcity Mentality". But here's me living in Auckland, owning
    two houses, running my own business with my own clients and project
    managing my own contractors. Time to spread your wings dude. Don't be part
    of the machine, run the machine!

    -ws
     
    Will Spencer, Feb 12, 2008
    #11
  12. Crash

    Jason Rumney Guest

    On 12 Feb, 09:18, Crash <> wrote:

    > Yeah. But to invoke termination on the last day of a contract after
    > an offered renewal of 3 months was accepted a few weeks earlier?


    Whoever offered you the 3 month extension probably got a bollocking
    from their boss when they went to get sign off on the budget.
     
    Jason Rumney, Feb 12, 2008
    #12
  13. Crash

    peterwn Guest

    On Feb 12, 7:25 pm, Crash <> wrote:
    > Today I completed a 6 month contract. 3 weeks or so ago I was offered
    > another 3 month term - which was accepted. Today I was notified that
    > the option to terminate me with 1 month's notice would be taken.
    >


    This sounds like what happened with Telecom's broadband rollout that
    was aborted by Rod Deane when it appeared that ADSL was a 'go-er'.
    Various people invested their redundancy payouts in purchasing a
    'directional' thrust borer to work as installation sub-contractors
    with promise of work for the whole rollout. When the Telecom pulled
    the plug, these sub-contractors basically lost their businesses and
    money. I think they got some compensation with the threat of legal
    action.

    In your case if there was some promise or indication that there was a
    full three months of work ahead, you might possibly have a claim.
    This is especially if you had an opportunity of taking up a contract
    with someone else or turned down a job offer. However you would also
    need to make a genuine attempt to seek alternative contract work. If
    you can land a new contract when the one month is up for the same or
    better rate, then you would have no basis for any claim.
     
    peterwn, Feb 12, 2008
    #13
  14. Crash

    thingy Guest

    Crash wrote:
    > Today I completed a 6 month contract. 3 weeks or so ago I was offered
    > another 3 month term - which was accepted. Today I was notified that
    > the option to terminate me with 1 month's notice would be taken.
    >
    > Under the circumstances I find it hard to believe that at the time I
    > was offered a 3 month renewal that the employer had any intention of
    > ever offering 3 months work.


    things change rapidly...one day the emplyer needs you, the next he does
    not, thats why he hired a temp and not a perm.

    > I was under the impression that employers rarely exercised early
    > contract termination - restricting them to misconduct or similar
    > circumstances - because otherwise they become less attractive to new
    > contract staff (would you take a contract with an employer with a
    > track record of early termination?). Given these circumstances I
    > believe that I should have been offered rolling one month extensions.
    > I would not have been that happy but at least I would never have
    > counted on a 3-month extension as I have with long-term travel
    > commitments that are non-refundable (I live in Wellington and work in
    > Auckland).
    >
    > So - how common is this type of behaviour?


    Normal....you are a contractor, hired for temp work, charge accordingly
    with this in mind.

    > Crash.
    > -----------------
    > www.Newsgroup-Binaries.com - *Completion*Retention*Speed*
    > Access your favorite newsgroups from home or on the road
    > -----------------


    regards

    Thing
     
    thingy, Feb 12, 2008
    #14
  15. Crash

    thingy Guest

    Crash wrote:
    > On Tue, 12 Feb 2008 00:37:04 -0800 (PST), JohnO <>
    > wrote:
    >
    > [snip]
    >> Very uncommon (never) in my experience, but I can see it could happen.
    >> Maybe the project got canned?
    >>

    > No. Foreseeable drop in workload preceded renewal offer
    >
    >> Not much you can do really. One of the reasons IT contractors get paid
    >> more is thay have to face the prospect of being the first against the
    >> wall when projects dry up.

    >
    > Yeah. But to invoke termination on the last day of a contract after
    > an offered renewal of 3 months was accepted a few weeks earlier?


    Suggests they wanted to keep you as,

    1) They wanted a reserve in case something came up.
    2) They got a perm employee or permission to get one.
    3) or to guarantee you stayed until the end of the initial contract,
    which is a bit "cute" but not un-surprising....the problem employers
    have with contractors is they can give 1 month's notice and move
    elsewhere if the pay is better.......so it cuts both ways. from what you
    have said I'd instinctively think this one...cant prove it mind....

    Someone else mentioned a contractor's social/networking/contacts type
    site, which I think is a good idea if contractors such as yourself then
    note down such "issues". Make the issue quite bland, ie short and sweet
    (so it doe not result in "someone" being sued or the info removed) that
    way if the employer and/or the manager that does this as a matter of
    course it is going to get picked up as he/she repeats the strategy with
    other contractors....

    regards

    Thing
     
    thingy, Feb 12, 2008
    #15
  16. Crash

    thingy Guest

    Crash wrote:
    > On Tue, 12 Feb 2008 21:35:38 +1300, Bobs
    > <> wrote:
    >
    > [snip]
    >> What's the problem? They gave you one months notice. Seems fair enough
    >> to me. Contractors don't have the same protection as full time
    >> workers...but then again, they get paid more

    >
    > So its OK to offer a renewal 3 weeks out from contract end, me to
    > accept in good faith, then they give me a months notice 1 day before
    > the renewal takes affect? I would consider this dodgy ethics to say
    > the least and I wondered how common this might be
    >> Why do you live in Wellington and work in Auckland anyway? Weird.

    >
    > Fair comment. I have 22+ years experience in a development
    > environment that was in the past a mainframe-only product that now has
    > a Windows-based option. The customer base in NZ is limited and I
    > choose to stick with whatever opportunities present themselves.
    >
    > I am Auckland born-and-bred but left in 1984. Apart from a brief
    > spell of a year I have not lived in Auckland since - but have plied my
    > trade in Oz, the USA and the UK then returned to Welly. Who, in their
    > right mind, would come back to Auckland when affordable housing is
    > south of Papakura, east of Howick, north of Albany and West of
    > god-knows-where? Then there are the hordes of
    > Asian-speaking-and-living Asians in the CBD. Thanks but Welly is far
    > better and even has widespread rail-based public transport ;-)


    yep....

    If I had to leave WGTN, I would not be going to Auckland, I'd just keep
    going at the airport....

    regards

    Thing
     
    thingy, Feb 12, 2008
    #16
  17. Crash

    Adam Cameron Guest

    > Today I completed a 6 month contract. 3 weeks or so ago I was offered
    > another 3 month term - which was accepted. Today I was notified that
    > the option to terminate me with 1 month's notice would be taken.


    Did the three month contract you signed state there was a one month notice
    period to exit said contract? If there was... "caveat emptor" applies,
    surely?

    I don't disagree that it sux for you, but... you're a contractor.
    Contractors aren't just "permies who get paid more", they are people who
    accept more money on the basis of the fact that they position is at no time
    guaranteed any further than the limits of the contract signed.

    Companies don't take contractors on because they want to pay them more
    money (or some laughable joke that contractors are somehow more capable
    than permie staff): they take contactors on because they can get rid of
    them easily, should their plans change. That's the long and short of it.

    It sounds like your employers plans changed.

    I've certainly not been on the receiving end of your predicament, but I've
    sure taken advantage of bailing out of contracts when they don't suit me.
    And I would not have a gripe if the reverse was meted out upon me. And now
    that I'm on the employer end of things, I really don't think twice about
    exercising already-agreed-upon exit clauses when they suit our situation.
    I've not had a contractor not understand that before. It's the nature of
    the job.

    Maybe you should be doing permie work, if you want job security?
    Contracting doesn't suit everyone.

    --
    Adam
     
    Adam Cameron, Feb 12, 2008
    #17
  18. Crash wrote:

    > Today I completed a 6 month contract. 3 weeks or so ago I was offered
    > another 3 month term - which was accepted. Today I was notified that
    > the option to terminate me with 1 month's notice would be taken.
    >
    > Under the circumstances I find it hard to believe that at the time I was
    > offered a 3 month renewal that the employer had any intention of ever
    > offering 3 months work.


    It happens. Whats worse is when your contracted over several months to
    customise software for deployment and then they repeatedly delay the
    actual rollout for months on end.

    Anon - ( In case my customers are reading this news group.)
     
    Anon NZ fellow, Feb 12, 2008
    #18
  19. In article <>, Chris Lim <> wrote:
    >On Feb 12, 10:18=A0pm, Crash <> wrote:
    >> Yeah. =A0But to invoke termination on the last day of a contract after
    >> an offered renewal of 3 months was accepted a few weeks earlier?

    >
    >Does sound unusual, but unless they have done this sort of thing
    >before then not really dodgy. Why do you think they did it in this
    >instance - did they give a reason? Maybe it was just poor planning on
    >their part - some middle manager wanted you and got overruled higher
    >up? As long as you don't think they did it just to piss you around
    >then I don't think you should have any gripes.


    ... and the real question here would be ... do you want to work for an
    organisation that treats you like this ?
    Your call ... but for many I suspect this is a no brainer. :)
     
    Bruce Sinclair, Feb 13, 2008
    #19
  20. Crash

    Zipper Guest

    thingy wrote:
    > Crash wrote:
    >> On Tue, 12 Feb 2008 21:35:38 +1300, Bobs
    >> <> wrote:
    >>
    >> [snip]
    >>> What's the problem? They gave you one months notice. Seems fair
    >>> enough to me. Contractors don't have the same protection as full time
    >>> workers...but then again, they get paid more

    >>
    >> So its OK to offer a renewal 3 weeks out from contract end, me to
    >> accept in good faith, then they give me a months notice 1 day before
    >> the renewal takes affect? I would consider this dodgy ethics to say
    >> the least and I wondered how common this might be
    >>> Why do you live in Wellington and work in Auckland anyway? Weird.

    >>
    >> Fair comment. I have 22+ years experience in a development
    >> environment that was in the past a mainframe-only product that now has
    >> a Windows-based option. The customer base in NZ is limited and I
    >> choose to stick with whatever opportunities present themselves.
    >>
    >> I am Auckland born-and-bred but left in 1984. Apart from a brief
    >> spell of a year I have not lived in Auckland since - but have plied my
    >> trade in Oz, the USA and the UK then returned to Welly. Who, in their
    >> right mind, would come back to Auckland when affordable housing is
    >> south of Papakura, east of Howick, north of Albany and West of
    >> god-knows-where? Then there are the hordes of
    >> Asian-speaking-and-living Asians in the CBD. Thanks but Welly is far
    >> better and even has widespread rail-based public transport ;-)

    >
    > yep....
    >
    > If I had to leave WGTN, I would not be going to Auckland, I'd just keep
    > going at the airport....
    >
    > regards
    >
    > Thing
    >
    >
    >


    A lot of people would say the same about Wellington so it comes down to
    personal preference and in this case you could say numbers speak for
    themselves.
     
    Zipper, Feb 13, 2008
    #20
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