Current Client – Can I walk out on them and Take a Better contract?

Current Client where contractor is contracting
Current Client for UK Contractor

Current Client

I have been on my current contract, with my current client, for three weeks now but it‘s not turning out as I expected.

I‘m also living away from home and that‘s added to my expenses.

When I was looking for work I also got accepted for another contract. However, there was a delay for this and a delay for that and I just ended up taking this contract.

Better Contract Rate

However, the agency has now got back to me and said that they have got the all clear now for me to start. They want me to start on Monday.

It is at a much better rate and it would take me less than half an hour to get there.

The trouble is that my current contract is one of those ones that has no notice period. It is a six month contract.

IT Contract Rates
IT Contract Market Rates

Unsigned Contract from Agency

However, and this may be important, although the agency signed the contract and sent it to me, I never actually signed it myself. I didn‘t send it back to them.

It must have been a bit of a slip-up for them not to notice.

Presumably that means that I can just leave this client and go to the other one.

However, I thought I‘d just check with you first Dr. McLaughlin before informing the client and the agency and taking the other contract.

Dr. McLaughlin’s IT Contractor Surgery

It‘s just as well that you did contact me otherwise you could have been letting yourself in for a whole heap of trouble.

A contract doesn‘t have to be signed to be legal.

It doesn‘t even have to be written down.

A verbal contract, if it can be verified, is just as legal as a written, signed one.

It is not the signature that makes it legal.

Agreed to Start Contract by Turning Up at Client

The very fact that you turned up for work at this contract and continued to turn up on a daily basis after you received the contract means that you have agreed to the terms of the contract.

That‘s the bad news.

However, it‘s not necessary a killer blow to your hopes of taking the other contract.

You may still be able to get out of it.

Contract Terms and Conditions
Contract Terms and Conditions when contractterminated

Ask Client If You Can Leave

The best thing to do is to go to the client and say that you are not happy working there, that it is different from what you expected and that living away from home is causing problems in your personal life and that you would prefer to leave.

There are some clients who would say to you that you have signed a six-month contract and would have to stick to it.

However, they are very much in the minority.

Problems in Personal Life

Most clients would rather have people working for them who want to work for them rather than having people who don‘t

It doesn‘t make any sense to keep on freelancers who are unhappy – especially if they are paying a great deal of money for them.

They are also people as well and would understand if someone was having problems in their personal life from working away from home and would sympathise and empathise with them.

I would say that 8 or 9 clients out of 10 would see it that way – maybe even all 10.

Contract Terminated Early
Contract Terminated Early by agency

Don’t Tell the Agency / Tell the Client

The last thing to do would be to call up the agency to ask them.

It would be the other way round here.

It would be 8 or 9 out of 10 who would tell you that you had to stick to the contract – maybe even all 10.

Just tell your client that you will stick around for a few days to pass your work over and if anyone needed to know anything in the next few weeks that you could be contacted.

Contact Your Agency After Agreement with Current Client

Once this is all agreed then you should contact your agency preferably by email stating that it is all agreed with your current client.

The agency will, of course, call you but, although they will mouth off, they will see it is a fait accompli if it is agreed with the client.

You may have to pluck up your courage to go into the client‘s office and it may be an unpleasant call with the agent but once that is done you are on your way and can start that lucrative contract less than half an hour away from where you live.

Good luck!

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