Managing your holiday as a contractor. Are you losing out?

22nd August 2016

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Everyone needs a break some time, even contractors. 

iContract’s Eduardo Rastelli explains the sense of perspective you need as a contractor to avoid falling into the guilt trap and enjoy that well-earned holiday.    

Some people would see this as a mute point: “You can take holiday whenever you would like,” the permies would say. 

And you can, so long as you book enough in advance, ensure your time off does not overlap with other team members taking their leave and of course remain within the 23/25/28/30 days of holiday your employer wishes to grant you.


The stress of organising the holiday happens six months prior to the holiday starting…and who wants stress associated with a holiday?


This week has been spent mostly floating around a pool, deciding when would be the optimum time to head back into the sanctuary of the shade. This holiday was booked a reasonable amount of time ago and details were courteously explained to the people that pay my bills. That’s all it was though.


As a contractor you have the freedom to work (and holiday) as you wish. I am never one to disappear for two days on a holiday, leaving only the out-of-office on to explain to those I interact with on a daily basis that I am on holiday, and I will reply on my return.


I am running a business, a business that relies on providing quick and effective delivery of the project, programme or process that I am being contracted to work on and eventually deploy.


That business however, is your business, and as such you can decide when you would like to take time off. Having that freedom to take a day off at short notice for no other reason other than you fancy having a day off – especially once you have surpassed the allocated holiday quota – feels like a victory.


Now people reading this will, rightfully, state that I do not – nor would any contractor be paid for taking days off for taking your holiday. And I would agree, I don’t. But what I do get is a higher than normal rate in comparison to peers performing a similar role to compensate for any shortcomings this holiday issue may cause in my bank balance.


The fact you need time off, and everyone does, is built into whatever day rate you manage to negotiate for yourself. See our other blog posts on how to negotiate your rate.   

Being your own boss

I have heard a number of interviews and read a number of stories about people who have started a business, people that “branched out on their own”. Aside from the hunger to create something successful for themselves, there is a continued theme from these stories – that of being their own boss.


As a contractor, you are your own boss. You do the work during the day and the running of a company at night – invoicing, tax calculations (you could pay an accountant to do this for you), insurances, business development, hiring etc. etc. The list is endless. If you are not a seasoned contractor this can all seem a bit daunting, but it needn’t be.   

iContract has been developed to bring the services you require to manage and run a successful business, focused on providing contractor resources to a company that needs it, all under one roof.


When I first started out, it took a while to get up to speed with the required insurances, invoicing procedures. Accountants! I was paying too much for too long to service companies which were providing me with a second rate level of service. At the time I thought it was the norm, it wasn’t and it isn’t.


Thankfully through an extensive learning period I’m now settled on a number of providers who give me what I need and all at a reasonable price – you will see them under our iContract partners page.


All this leaving me added time to do what I’m good at. Provide my clients with a dedicated and efficient solution to their problems, and taking my holiday.


Back to the pool and a Piña Colada. Happy holidays all.   

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