Extra Hours – Client wants me to work extra hours for nothing

Extra Hours for Nothing
Extra Hours for Nothing

Extra Hours for Nothing

A client wants Arthur to work extra hours for nothing. Here is his story.

I signed a contract which stated that I have to work 35 hours a week.

I know that this is unusual in this day and age with most people working an hourly rate.

There‘s a young project manager there in his late twenties and he refused to take the advice of both myself and the other contractors there and now the project is late.

To cure this he told all the contractors that they must work extra hours.

Most, but not all of the other contractors are on daily rates.

That‘s the problem with daily rates.

We all know that a daily rate means that you either do the normal day or you do more.

There are never times when you do less.

I told the client that I am on an hourly rate and that I am happy to do extra hours if I am paid but he turned this down and said that any contractor who didn‘t do extra hours would have his contract terminated immediately.

What should I do?

Dr McLaughlin‘s IT Surgery

You get Project Managers like that.

They won‘t take any advice from the contractors and then when they screw up they want the contractors to dig them out of a hole by extra work.

There is very little that you can do here if you want to retain your contract.

You could ask him if you could get time off in lieu later on.

He doesn‘t sound like the type to agree to that but it is worth a try.

Contractors United Front

The other thing is to get all the contractors together and form a united front.

If they all say that they won‘t work the hours without pay then he cannot sack them all.

The project is already in enough trouble without all the contractors quitting on him.

That would send it spiralling out of complete control and perhaps cost the PM his job.

I always took the view when asked to do free overtime that if they didn‘t think it was worth paying for then I didn‘t think it was worth doing.

Uniting Contractors Like Herding Cats

However, it is almost unheard of for contractors to unite this way.

As Andy White, founder of the PCG once said, organising contractors was like trying to herd cats.

You could try this and see what the others say.

You could try saying that you are not able to do much in the way of overtime as your wife works in the evenings and you have to look after your young kids.

Look for Another Contract

However, the best thing for you might be to look for another contract while doing as little overtime as possible that you can get away with.

I‘m sure the other contractors will be doing the same.

Then that would really put this PM in the sh*t.

Don’t just work extra hours for nothing.