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Rates for Self-Employed site work - Printable Version

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Rates for Self-Employed site work - benmoore - 5th April 2011

Hullo. I've been offered some site work on a self employed basis. I seem to have managed to avoid being self employed at any point over the past 10 years and am therefore clueless. What would be a reasonable hourly rate?

I guess people maybe a bit unsure of posting answers in case I undercut them! Just a general figure would be helpful. Thanks!


Rates for Self-Employed site work - BAJR - 5th April 2011

The BAJR 'rate' ie... teh one that ensures you don't fall below what you would get as an employed person is this rule of thumb

and of course a self employed person should have a damn sight more than 6 month exp... to be able to charge themselves out (though of course it is up to you)

G3 = 110-120 G3/4 120-150 G4 150-170

these are my figures.. and the rub of being self employed is you can charge what you like... so you could go in at 50 quid a week if you wanted to. welcome to the world of bids and undercuts... no wonder we are in the state we are in

Remember you have no holidays no sickness and no pension, you will have to provide more and be competent enough to act as a sub contractor - which may require you to complete a task even if it is over the hours you would normally work. There is such a thing as labour-only self employed... so find out which you are .... self employed (in which case... are you insured? ) OR (labour only)

Rates for Self-Employed site work - Unitof1 - 5th April 2011

pin down- what it is that they want from you. are you driving to site, is it all site based, insurance, copyright-how do you want to do it, are they going to let you in on the contract/price with the client.....

Rates for Self-Employed site work - The Debauched Sloth - 5th April 2011

about 100 quid a day starting out, if you need more work, offer to finds process for a fee per bucket.

Rates for Self-Employed site work - chiz - 5th April 2011

Hi Ben,
drop me a line if you want to chat about this, but some general points to consider....

As you know the main thing is that you cannot just translate an employees salary into a day rate. It is not like-for-like. Think about that lowly wage you got as a digger, and then the 'astronomical' charge out rate the employer charges for your services. A lot of that extra is actually to pay the overheads associated with employing you. Not all, but a lot. You need to set a day rate that will generate a turnover sufficient to pay yourself some kind of income (this is where most freelance diggers stop thinking) which has to be earned over the 233 day working year,
but you also need to cover:
your insurance, this is usually only available for periods of 6 months so a fairly chunky payout
sickness insurance for when you can't work,
money for holiday pay and bank holidays
conferences and CPD/training as noone else will pay you to learn
tax and NI
tools and equipment, computers, office stuff, software, phone, internet, possibly office space and bills
transport and accomodation, business car insurance, fuel
professional acreditation and memberships

It all adds up
Oh, and of course you'll have a proper legally sound contract and terms and conditions, and all the requisite H&S paperwork...

But almost certainly you won't be working all 233 days a year, so you need to plan for those slack days by upping your rate. You need to cover time to sort taxes and invoicing, and time to find and negotiate new work. Nothing will be done for you, and if it is then start thinking about whether you are really working as self-employed.

There are some units who simply divide the PIfA minima by 233 working days, slap on a few quid and call that a day rate at ?63 a day. Another rather famous TV company used to pay a slightly higher rate. David's rates are far better, but I would say by its very nature you should be charging a higher rate than a similarly graded employed person. The IfA says if you don't get holiday pay, pension rights or sick pay then as a basic digger you should get a MINIMUM of ?17613.15 instead of ?15054. So that is ?75 a day just to match the MINIMA for a digger, with NO expenses at all included and if you work all 233 days in the year. And I'd say as a freelancer you should be working off the recomended starting salaries, not the minima (
The IfA published a breakdown a few years ago (in The Archaeologist) where the day rate for a generic specialist was worked out. To provide a comparible income to MIfA minima (then about ?21K) required a day rate of ?200 a day.

It is a good life when it goes well, and stressful when it goes badly. I enjoyed it, but am glad to be back in a unit where the life is more stable and someone else gets the contracts in.

There is some guidance and hopefully some examples on its way soon from the IfA.
Hope this helps


Rates for Self-Employed site work - Unitof1 - 6th April 2011

that?s right ben -chiz has worked it out quite carefully that a unit must to be charging around 200 squids a day for a digger to keep the directors pension full to the brim and that includes the days when the diggers are pot washing and the director at a "meeting" (subject to other subsidies).

more info would help-from my point of view -to see how self?s are being "used" in the climate of the current industry- what kind of client are you considering working for...

If you are up against the chiz type of unit go for about 190 squids plus expenses?on the principle of under cutting by 10 pounds

But also The Debauched Sloth attitude is appropriate -100 squids to test the self
assessment water (as a sweetner you might do the first day for free!)

What rocks your boat?

Rates for Self-Employed site work - Wax - 6th April 2011

Make sure you register as self employed for tax purposes and get yourself on one of their free courses, extremely useful as they give very good guidance on what you can claim back and the other costs you can off set against Tax.

I use a sliding scale of charges based on the type of work undertaken (also try and guage what the client is willing to pay without giving away how low a rate you would work for, you might be pleasantly surprised)

Insurance is vital and some clients want to see proof of it. You must be clear what you health and safety responsibilities are and what those of the client are. Always have a written agreement/project brief/contract

Best of luck, its a big first step but as long as you do the background research it can work out:face-approve: