Here’s a contractor dilemma.
What do you do when you have signed one contract, and then you are offered another contract? The agency will expect you to take the job and bring up such subjects as morals and honesty.
I would suggest that if there is a notice period in the contract, that you utilise it straight away. The company may want you to come and work for a month, but I very much doubt it. In many contracts there is a one week notice period for the first month. Is it dishonest or immoral to utilise this?
The Agency wants the right to be able to make hard nosed business decisions. also, the employing company wants the right to be able to make hard nosed business decisions. However, they expect the contractor to make one out of loyalty and ‘not letting them down’. There is a double standard here.
Even in the situation where the contractor has signed the contract with the agency and the agency with the employer, if the project got canned, or word came from on high that project staff cuts were to be made, there would be no argument about ‘not letting the contractor down’.
The employer would cut him and try to get away with paying the legal minimum. They would try it on first of all to try to get away with not paying him a penny. Is there anyone who doubts this?
Now, what would the agency do? It has a signed contract with the contractor but there is now no job. What do you think that the agency would do? Would they first of all think of their business obligations to the contractor and ‘not letting HIM down‘. Or would they go for with the legal minimum, and try and get away with paying nothing?
I don’t think we would have to hold a poll on those questions. So why is it thought to be dishonourable and dishonest for a contractor to change his mind and take a higher paid job BEFORE he has even signed a contract, unlike the case with the other two.
Using Business Judgments
If he signs a contract which it is no longer in his best interests, and there is a notice clause in his contract, then legally he can use it.
As far as the morals of the situation, one can argue the case. However, if he decides to sign the contract for a job that he no longer wants, he’ll find that he is the only one using morals as a criteria rather than just straight business judgment, and business interests.
Why is it that the contractor can’t act in his straight best interests whilst the agency and the hiring company always will? It’s because we see the contractor as an individual rather than a small company. People expect different moral standards from individuals than they do from a business.
Why people acting on behalf of companies should have that moral ‘pass out‘ and not people acting on behalf of themselves (even with their own companies), is a whole different subject for debate.
Suffice to say that contractors should remember that they work for their own company. It is their legal duty to act in the best interests of that company. It’s the same as agents do for their agencies and employers do for their companies. Then contractors will know what to do.
When pondering this contractor dilemma just think of that.
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