Any UK based contractors here?

Note to USA folks: in UK contract is a fixed term hire on wages that can be x4 standard full time salary. Seems like USA contract employment is more like UK temp hire.

I've been offered a 6 month contract hire at just over x2 my annual salary. I'm seriously thinking of but don't know much about how to invoice etc. Any good resources on getting started or advice for a FTE entering the world of contract work?


  • UncleBUncleB Posts: 417Member
    I've been contracting on and off for the last 20 years - it is a fairly straightforward process once you get your head around it and there is plenty of people still doing it.

    There are guides, links to accountants etc and a good discussion board on UK contract issues here:
    Contractor UK Bulletin Board

    They even give a free guide to contracting that explains the issues you ask about.

    One recent issue to be aware of is that the UK government is changing the tax laws to make the contractor liable to pay all the taxes an employer would normally pay a permie, but you don't get any of the security of benefits (holiday, sick pay, pension etc), so it is quite unfair.

    The market is good for some skill sets, but for the likes of most support roles then the rates can be the same as a decent permie would earn - supply and demand at play.

    They key things I found to influence the decision to jump are:
    1 - do you have enough reserves in case you find yourself out of work for 6 months? It has happened to me twice in the last 5 years.
    2 - can you be ruthless in taking a better offer and leave a company in a difficult situation if you leave? No room for bleeding hearts in contracting.
    3 - can you dedicate your personal time to your development? The companies won't do this for you.

    It can be great (my income went up 6 fold in my first 3 years) but if you are in a role that has competition then the rates may suck. You have to stay ahead of the technology to stay desirable for the good gigs and that takes a lot of your own effort and cash to do.

    Good luck - it can be one hell of a roller coaster ride.
  • Welly_59Welly_59 Posts: 431Member
    I have 2 main concerns regarding contracting. First the risk of a contract being ended without notice. Does that happen?

    Secondly the delay in getting paid after invoice. Have you had many issues over the years with delayed payments?
  • NissekiNisseki Posts: 160Member
    I'm currently contracting however I am looking to go permanent next year due to the IR35 (which will affect private sector too apparently).

    Bear in mind you don't get any benefits such as sick leave or annual leave which is why I'm looking for a perm job for the new year.
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