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Manual hours and overtime

patriciahsousa
Active Member
Patricia S Member Since: Aug 30, 2019
1 of 15

HI all,

 

I have a doubt concerning manual hours and overtime.

 

I work for a client on a regular basis since last year and until now everything was great. My tasks were on schedule, so was the payment.

A couple of weeks ago, my weekly limit was decreased imensly without apparent reason (I wasn't notified by Upwork or by the client) and the new limit is insuficient for the incoming work. I have been messaging the client (through Upwork and several email addresses) since Monday, to clarify the issue, to know why this happened and how to proceed but I haven't had any replies. 

This has been really frustratring because even though the department changes frequently, communication was good and I could always get an hold on somebody. At this point, I don't know what to think anymore. The client still exists, there's incoming work but no answers for me. This has been really stressing and confusing, because I have no clue what's going on.

 

The new weekly limit is so low that was reached before the middle of the week. I wanted to add manual hours (because the contract allows it) but I was super confused with that and the overtime.

So basically should I continue to track time with the app? If I do so, it shows up in the diary as overtime and there's a chance of not being paid. 

But if I add manual hours, I don't have the print screens.

What should I do?
Also and concerning the client, does anyone had this experience before Client changing contract withou reason and becoming unresponsive?

Thank you so much!

P.

 

petra_r
Community Guru
Petra R Member Since: Aug 3, 2011
2 of 15

Time in excess of the weekly limit is not paid, it does not matter whether you track it or add it manually.

 

Do not work after you reach the limit, you will not get paid for any of that time unless the client pays a bonus.

 

patriciahsousa
Active Member
Patricia S Member Since: Aug 30, 2019
3 of 15

Hi Petra,

 

Thanks for replying!

So even if my contract allows manual hours (which I assume are to be added after the weekly limit), these might not be paid at all by the client? I know this payment is not automatic but if I invoice him the manual time (not sure if this is even possible), is there a chance of payment?

Thanks!

petra_r
Community Guru
Petra R Member Since: Aug 3, 2011
BEST ANSWER
4 of 15

Patricia S wrote:

So even if my contract allows manual hours (which I assume are to be added after the weekly limit),


Manual time has nothing to do with the weekly limit. Manual time is simply when you work without the Upwork protection without tracking your time.

 

Time in excess of the weekly limit is not counted, not invoiced, not charged and not paid in any way. It is ultimately "time the client has not authorized." It does not exist other than showing in the work diary.

 


Patricia S wrote:

I know this payment is not automatic but if I invoice him the manual time (not sure if this is even possible), is there a chance of payment?


There is no such thing as "invoicing time" that is in excess of the limit. The client (by changing the limit) told you that you are not allowed to bill more than whatever the weekly limit is, so unless the client increases the limit, you stop at the exact moment the time is up.

 

The *only* way to get paid for excess time is if the client increases the limit before the weekends on Sunday (then any overtime changes to regular time and will get invoiced and paid as normal) or the client pays you a bonus afterward.

 

 

View solution in original post

moonraker
Community Guru
Jamie F Member Since: Mar 7, 2010
5 of 15

If they have recently cut the allocated hours as you say, they would have done so for a reason. I would not do any work over those hours if I were you because I would not be confident that the client will agree to pay it. 

patriciahsousa
Active Member
Patricia S Member Since: Aug 30, 2019
6 of 15

Hey Jamie,

 

Thanks for replying. 

I imagine there's a reason but I'm not sure what it is. Not sure if there's something wrong with my work (until recently there wasn't, on the contrary!), but the lack of client's response is unsetlling. 

Tasks keep coming but I guess I will not risck it.

Best,

P.

patriciahsousa
Active Member
Patricia S Member Since: Aug 30, 2019
7 of 15

Hey Petra,

 

Thank you so much for clarifying this.

This is the answer I needed, as I have been reading other comments here and there but wasn't sure about the manual and overtime.

We agreed to increase the weekly limit a couple of months ago (due to the huge influx of work) but I never made all those hours, just a few times. I thought that if decrease was needed, we would discuss it the same way. But apparently not.

Best,

 

P.

wlyonsatl
Community Guru
Will L Member Since: Jul 9, 2015
8 of 15

Your client should have notified you they were reducing allowable weekly hours. It would have been a bonus for them to tell you why, but if it isn't due to their dissatisfaction with your work it doesn't matter to you.

 

But too many clients are too often cowards, making changes to contracts without prior notification to the freelancer. 

 

If I were you, and I am not, I'd stop working on the project and tell the client the allowable hours appear to have been reduced to a level below what is required to do the entire task at hand, so I'll wait for their instructions on prioritizing the work within the new hourly limits before I do any more work.

 

If there's no answer, move on to other projects until they do answer..

patriciahsousa
Active Member
Patricia S Member Since: Aug 30, 2019
9 of 15

Hi Will,

 

Thanks for replying!

I have no idea why this happened; in the ideal world feedback should have been provided, but things don't always work that way.

I've messaged the client multiple times during this week, in order to know how to proceed. 

No reply until today, but  tasks kep coming in, which makes me very confused. I eventually stoped working at one point.

Best,

P.

wlyonsatl
Community Guru
Will L Member Since: Jul 9, 2015
10 of 15

All you can do now is wait for a reply from the client, Patricia. I think you can assume they are reading your messages and deciding not to reply, but there is also a chance something on their end has priority over communicating with you. It happens.

 

As suggested by another poster, DO NOT do any work on this project - or any other, with rare exception - using manual hours. There is no mechanism in the Upwork system that can assure you will be paid for any manual hours booked. The client can refuse to pay them and that will be that - you'll have worked for free.

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