Freelancer Advice

Contract positions are those that offer a candidate’s services to a company on a freelance basis. These roles may be urgent or project based.

Regular contractors who invoice for their time via a limited company or umbrella company are often referred to as freelancers. They are usually assigned an hourly rate of pay for a fixed period of time – usually 3, 6 or 12 months. Contractors are paid monthly, with the amount reflecting the hours signed-off by the candidate’s line manager, on weekly timesheets, multiplied by the agreed hourly rate of pay. Upon completion, a contract will often extend for another period of time if the services are still required.

Contractors can benefit from earning substantially more than a permanent member of staff would on an annual salary basis — sometimes up to 100% more. This is because there is less future job security in a short-term role and because contractors are not generally entitled to company benefits such as training, paid holidays, pension contributions or healthcare.

Contracts are usually arranged very quickly and require only one interview.

Assignments are expected to (and almost always do) run for their whole duration; however, there is usually a notice period of around 1 month built into a contract for either party to terminate. Contracts should only be prematurely terminated because of unexpected circumstances or as an absolute last resort. Saying that you have been offered more money elsewhere or that you have simply changed your mind is generally frowned upon and could affect a future employee reference. Because of the short-term nature of contracting, Contractors tend to keep an eye on the marketplace and stay in contact with recruiters as well as previous employers. They rely on their reputations and their contacts to secure a constant stream of work.

Contractors are not employees of the company and are generally required to cover themselves with professional liability insurance. Umbrella companies usually include this type of insurance, and most employment agencies also cover their entire contractor base as an additional security. Proclinical requires that all freelancers are also personally insured.

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