Piet is a professional in HR, he got this great opportunity, a project for 5 months. It is a full time job, and they have agreed on his dayfee. So Piet askes for his contract.
Reading the contract there a different “disturbing” elements like:
- There are 5 days of notice if you want to stop working on the project
- The contracting company can “directly” stop the collaboration if the client “user” is stopping the collaboration with the freelance.
- Invoice payment 60 days after sending the invoice
- There are a number of days in total and a total budget put in the addendum
So some questions Piet had were:
- How is the contracting firm going to follow up the project, so I get to know how the clients feels about my job, because I do not want to experience the ending of it at once? This could cause a huge income loss!
- 60 days of payment is impossible for Piet, his invoices are always paid in 7 days, the maximum he had is 14 days.
- This total day thing, how is this going to work on a monthly bases, I need my monthly income. Will I have an overview for serveral weeks, and will the client keep the the given schedule.
So my advice to Piet is:
- Ask for a 1 month planning so you can take up other projects so you are sure to create the income you need.
- Invoice payment ask for 14 days, sometimes on the contract they will oblige the 30-60 days (never accept the 60 day payment as a freelancer) but ask if they can pay it earlier. Some contracting companies do pay within the 7 days.
The issue in Belgium a lot of contracting companies are very “dominant” in working with freelancers! The freelancer is independent and is eaqual to the company
because the fall under the same “commercial law”, but contracting companies make contracts and treat freelancers as “employees”.
So to create a shift/change you have as a freelance open your mouth about it, and start negotiating, only if you do so, things will be able to change and bring awareness
to companies. The best is to work directly with the company who needs a freelancer, and this will increase in Belgium in the coming years, because they do not work with freelancers as a partner, but as an “easy employee” that you can “dump” easily.