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Working over the contracted hours

Community Guru
Richard S Member Since: Mar 12, 2019
1 of 14

Hi everyone. I'm working on a job where the contract is fixed at a maximum of 10 hours. It's become clear that it will take far longer than that to complete. I don't want to fall out with the client with it ending in a dispute and am assuming that, if I keep the time tracker going over 10 hours, this would continue to create an extra amount for the client to pay? I'm going to finish the job, however long it takes because the contract is the contract and I agreed to accept their offer,  but was wondering if the best thing to do was to log any extra time manually, so that I can gently point out to them the additional work involved, in the hope that they may agree to pay an additional amount, or would this also generate an automatic bill for the client to pay? Any thoughts appreciated!

Community Guru
Martina P Member Since: Jul 11, 2018
2 of 14

Richard S wrote:

Hi everyone. I'm working on a job where the contract is fixed at a maximum of 10 hours. It's become clear that it will take far longer than that to complete. I don't want to fall out with the client with it ending in a dispute and am assuming that, if I keep the time tracker going over 10 hours, this would continue to create an extra amount for the client to pay? I'm going to finish the job, however long it takes because the contract is the contract and I agreed to accept their offer,  but was wondering if the best thing to do was to log any extra time manually, so that I can gently point out to them the additional work involved, in the hope that they may agree to pay an additional amount, or would this also generate an automatic bill for the client to pay? Any thoughts appreciated!


Discuss this with your client. Never go over any agreed hours, that is just bad policy. Are the hours restricted by the client? If I were you, I'd just record the agreed time and chalk up any extra hours to my learning experience and don't give it any more thought. 

Community Guru
Richard S Member Since: Mar 12, 2019
3 of 14

Hi Martina and thanks for your thoughts. The 10 hours maximum was in the contract. I'm not sure if it is bad policy though depending on the circumstances.... I'm a newbie and finding work is difficult, what if completing the job with extra time involved is appreciated by the client and leads to my not only getting paid for it, but also additional work from them?  Call me an idiot, but my professional pride dictates that I'll finish it on time, even if it takes longer than the contract stipulates. If it's possible, I still need to know whether logging time manually creates an automatic fee for the client?

Community Guru
Nichola L Member Since: Mar 13, 2015
4 of 14

Richard S wrote:

Hi Martina and thanks for your thoughts. The 10 hours maximum was in the contract. I'm not sure if it is bad policy though depending on the circumstances.... I'm a newbie and finding work is difficult, what if completing the job with extra time involved is appreciated by the client and leads to my not only getting paid for it, but also additional work from them?  Call me an idiot, but my professional pride dictates that I'll finish it on time, even if it takes longer than the contract stipulates. If it's possible, I still need to know whether logging time manually creates an automatic fee for the client?


________________________

Adhere to the ten hours as far as payment is concerned. If this is a manual hourly job. just record those hours. If you agreed a number of hours it would be distinctly unprofessional to exceed them, and if it is a manual hourly job, you might not get paid. If you have a good relationship with the client, you could discuss it with him and say you need more time. But basically, you should have been able to assess how much time you needed for the job. This is not always easy, I know. 

Community Guru
Richard S Member Since: Mar 12, 2019
5 of 14

Wow... Ok, well I don't want to get into an argument about whether I'm being unprofessional or not, so we'll leave it there. Thank you to everyone that responded.

Community Guru
Nichola L Member Since: Mar 13, 2015
6 of 14

You asked for advice and seasoned freelancers have given it. You are not obliged to take it. 

Community Guru
Richard S Member Since: Mar 12, 2019
7 of 14

Nichola, I'm new to Upwork, not new to freelancing. You're right correct and I won't be. Again, thank you for responding.

Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
8 of 14

re: "Never go over any agreed hours..."

 

"Never" is a broad term.

 

I think a lot of us "go over," without it being a problem, in situations like this:

 

We are working on a task, and the allotted weekly time runs out, and we just want to finish the task, so we keep working until its done.

 

As long as we know that the client is under no obligation to pay us for time that was logged that exceeded the maximum allowed number of hours, then no harm is done.

 

I won't do this for a ton of time... But I have done this (I think a lot of us have) in a limited way when working on a project for a valued cient. A client CAN NOT ask for this. But a freelancer can do it without violating any rules.

Community Guru
Petra R Member Since: Aug 3, 2011
9 of 14

It is really very simple:

 

You obviously "may" go over the maximum number of hours, which are per WEEK by the way (so 10 hours this week, 10 hours next week, which starts at midnight tonight UTC)

 

**BUT** the client does not get billed or charged in ANY way for any time that is logged in excess of the weekly  (!) limit, and it is irrelevant whether the overtime is logged manually or tracked with the tracker.

 

In other words: You don't get paid for any such hours, unless the client pays by bonus for them.

 

As far as the client is concerned, the additional time does not exist, and unless the client physically looks at the work diary, the client can not even see that there are excess hours.

 They are not counted in any reports etc.

 

The default weekly limit when setting up a contract is 40, so the client must have actively changed that to 10.

 

Personally I'd have that conversation with the client BEFORE the week is over because at this point (until midnight UTC Sunday) the client can still increase the weekly limit for the current week.

 

And again, remember that the limit is per week, not for the whole project, and resets at midnight UTC tonight.

 

 

 

Community Guru
Richard W Member Since: Jun 22, 2017
10 of 14

Richard, you said that the client set the weekly limit to 10 hours, but not that you'd agreed to do the job in 10 hours. Accepting the job with that weekly limit is not the same thing as agreeing to complete the job in 10 hours.

 

An hourly contract does not normally stipulate a maximum number of hours for the whole job, though a limit could be stated verbally in the description or in prior discussions. In the absence of any such agreement, it's open to you to say that the job requires more than 10 hours, and that completion will have to wait until next week (or longer) as you've been restricted to 10 hours per week. Of course you'd probably put it more diplomatically than that. And, depending on the circumstances, you may decide it's better simply not to charge for the additional hours. 

 

I would not consider the weekly limit to be a part of the contractual agreement. The client is free to increase or reduce this limit at any time. If you go over the limit and the client increases the limit before the end of the week, then you would be paid for the additional hours (up to the new limit).

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