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Contracting and Timesheets

Discussion in 'Employment & Jobs' started by disarm, Jun 26, 2011.

  1. disarm

    disarm Byte Poster

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    Hi

    I have been told by a contractor that on a timesheet you would include the time you left your house and include travelling time in the hours logged. So if you were to start at 9 and finish at 5, you would put down say for example 8.30 - 5.30 to include 30 mins each way of travelling time. Is this correct?

    Also, would you include time for administration - filling out timesheets and expenses etc?

    Cheers

    D
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2011
  2. Sparky
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    Sparky Zettabyte Poster Moderator

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    If you fill out the admin paperwork before leaving a customer site then yeah.
     
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  3. Shinigami

    Shinigami Megabyte Poster

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    We have an entry for travel. If I spend 1 hour travelling between my home and the customers in my car, I'll log 1 hour.
    If I spend 3 hours taking a train to a customers, but I work on the train for 2 hours, I only log 1 hour of travel instead of 3.
     
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  4. SimonD

    SimonD Terabyte Poster Moderator

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    In 13 years of contracting I have NEVER claimed for travel time unless it was weekend or bank holiday work. Unfortunately you chose to live where you live and it's not the clients fault if you live 10 minutes or 3 hours away from work, all they care about is that you work your allocated time (37.5 or 40 hour weeks).

    Claiming for travel time is a good way of getting yourself released from your contract and personally I would never do it (unless as I mentioned it was done for weekend or bank holidays).

    As far as admin is concerned, you either do it at work or do it at home, either way it really shouldn't take more than 15 minutes.

    Contracting isn't a way to make easy money and you will soon find yourself out on your ear if your client thinks that you're pushing your luck, worse still is that permies get their noses put out of joint if they think you're claiming unfairly (remember most managers somewhere in that timesheet workflow is going to be a permy).

    Personally speaking I would be claiming for the time I am actually at work and I would spend 15 minutes a week\month filling out my timesheets before I leave the office, that's it.
     
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  5. soundian

    soundian Gigabyte Poster

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    Sounds like you've got the same deal as I'm on. Because I technically work for an umbrella company based in another city, what perks I get are tied to how long I'm away from home base.
    I think how it works is, they pay me a base wage and top it up with expenses, which are taxed depending on how long I'm away from homebase every day. >10 hours =£25 tax free per day, <10 hours=£9 tax free iirc.
    I'd check with your peers.

    Also, I fill in 3 timesheets. One for the recruitment agency that employed me, which is verified by my employers and includes only time worked, and two for the umbrella company, one for time worked, and one for total time spent. I would imagine that if you only have one timesheet to fill in they're looking for time worked only.
     
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  6. dmarsh

    dmarsh Terabyte Poster

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    I agree with Simon. I've never billed for my regular commute. Even when the commute was long and involved me living away from home in hotels.

    Absolutely not, its wrong and dishonest, unless your contract says otherwise. Most peoples work day begins when they arrive at their workplace and start doing productive work.

    If during your work you have to travel offsite from your regular place of work then that is different. I'd expect to be paid for excess additional time spent travelling, like flying abroad to meet clients etc, then that is part of your working day and should be billable. The exact details should have been ironed out in your contract or agreed between you and your boss before the assignment.

    Agreed paperwork to do with yourself such as timesheets and invoices should take minutes and should in no way contribute largely to your pay. If it does then something is wrong with the system.

    Paperwork that is part of your core job is a deliverable asset for the business and of course forms part of your billable hours.

    As far as expense claims look at contractor websites, ask an accountant etc. Its typical to claim for travel expenses when away from home, hotels, filghts etc. You can also claim a food allowance. You can claim against things like stationary, computers, training courses. You can also claim for your business mileage.

    If you're under an umbrella you may find that you get less flexibility on what you can claim and when.
     
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  7. greenbrucelee
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    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

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    I have never contracted but know many who do and all of them put down their hours from when they leave their house to when they finish the job.
     
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  8. SimonD

    SimonD Terabyte Poster Moderator

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    But you see going with your train of thoughts there I would only have to work 3 hours a day then because I spend 5 hours a day on the train, do you think I would get away with that? What I am trying to say is that the company expect you to do the contracted hours in work, not commuting, as I mentioned before, it's not their fault where you live, all they care about is that you can do the required hours.
     
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  9. greenbrucelee
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    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

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    Yep I see what your saying but this is just how the people I know do it. I suppose some companies have different ways of doing it.
     
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  10. dmarsh

    dmarsh Terabyte Poster

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    I've also known many who contracted and NONE of them do this, it is not common for office workers. Paid travel is sometimes part of the job when you are highly mobile, like a salesman, delivery driver, or Field Engineer, even then its often only for extra mileage, not the ordinary commute.

    I used to get up at 5am travel 2-3 hours to work, live in a hotel and return on Friday night, because the job was so far from my home. Should I bill the employer 24x7 from 5am Monday to 8pm Friday as I was away from home all this time ? What if I had decided to suffer the commute each day, should I bill an extra 4-6 hours each day ?

    What about the people that live locally ? Surely they are losing out in such a system, where in reality an employer will prefer such people as they can put in more hours simply because they don't have a commute.
     
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  11. Apexes

    Apexes Gigabyte Poster

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    I'm contracting, i don't claim travel time, unless i am at another office that isn't my normal one (i.e now i'm in Birmingham, and travel time is paid for)
     
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  12. greenbrucelee
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    I am not wanting argue I was just pointing out what people I know do.
     
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  13. Shinigami

    Shinigami Megabyte Poster

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    It sometimes boils down to what you've agreed with a customer.

    For example, if I have a customer which lives 3 hours away from me, I may take the train to visit them on a monday morning, stay the week, and take the train back on friday (staying in hotels during the week).
    In situations like this, I could ask the customer if they agree that I spend my time working on the train for them. If they say yes, I could take the train at 8 in the morning and arrive on-site at 11am on the monday, and on friday I leave at 3pm and arrive home at 6pm. During those two trips, I may have done 2-2.5 hours of work (each way)
    which in turn is billed as such.

    However, if the customer does not agree and wants to work with me face-to-face the entire week, I will need to leave home at 6am (or the night before), arrive in their office at 9am on the monday, and on friday, I would leave at, say 6pm in order to arrive home at 9pm. In this case, what I do on the train is really up to me, and I cannot charge the customer for that time.

    We do not charge customers for travel time, we only book travel time in our systems to have some trends on work/life balance. i.e. if a consultant is spending a massive amount of time on the road, then we may need to re-evaluate the customers that this consultant should be visiting, i.e. find someone a little closer to home as all that travel incurs other problems such as being away from family and friends, or increasing ones stress levels.

    Just my two cents.
     
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  14. derkit

    derkit Gigabyte Poster

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    dmarsh is correct that it depends on your contract - contractors in my place get paid for the hours they are in the office and that's it.
    If evening, weekend or bank holiday work is needed, permies get paid from the moment you leave your house to the time you get back; contractors on the other hand still on get paid for the hours they are in the office.

    Permies get time-and-a-half or double-time depending on when it is, and again contractors get their normal hourly rate only.
     
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  15. disarm

    disarm Byte Poster

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    Thanks for your replies.

    Travelling time was agreed with the client, to and from their head office.
     

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