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2013 BAJR Grades
#31
Wax, comparing wages to freelance day rates is rather difficult but the DF is pushing for the IfA to publish a ballpark minima figure for freelance to compare to the minima for employees. They did do this in the past for specialists: to match a MIfA minima you needed to charge at least ?200 a day back in ?2004. I think David has done this for his grades and suggests ?115 a day for a site assistant before any accommodation/long distance travel is added (David, please correct me if wrong).

What is easy is to work out is what the absolute minimum day rate must be to pay an income equivalent to the minima BEFORE ANY COSTS are added. This is achieved by adding the pension and sickpay element to the relevant minima (e.g. PIfA), and then dividing by 233 working days. This currently gives ?77.71 per day -just to meet the minima, with nothing for any work-related costs like tools, equipment, subscriptions, travel costs, accommodation costs, phone bills.....and that little matter of insurance, all of which will amount to several thousand pounds a year, and remember that most bona fide freelancers will be experienced, and should be charging accordingly, we're worth it! Of course many freelancers don't earn the relevant minima level as they don't work all year, therefore they should be judged pro rata.

One company in the north hires 'freelancers' at a rate that appears to be decided by dividing BAJR rates by 233 days, about ?65 a day, but obviously with no sick pay, pension subs or travel (they're freelance after all!). Unfortunately they aren't an RO, and none of the management are in the IfA so we can't put in a complaint -could that be on purpose? The increase in use of freelancers is no bad thing (I would say that as a freelancer), but when it is a cover for poor pay and conditions and is against HMRC rules it should be exposed. Although it is very hard to be prinicpled when you need to pay the rent, we as Diggers shouldn't work for this kind of money or we only have ourselves to blame.

To return to the main crux of the thread, please do email the IfA with your views and opinions, they do get listened to. Members of the IfA need to make sure that it is a member's organisation, representing members not employers. The mechanisms are there to use: voting for council, responding to consultations, writing to the staff, so please use them!
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#32
Hi Chiz,

At the risk of drifting OT, that "Unit in the North" may not fall foul of the IFA, but if they are staffing digs with "freelancers" the Tax Man would be very interested! According to HMRC you are only "freelance" (Sole Trader, in tax terms) if you can set your own hours, determine your own approach to the project, and use your own major tools/facilities. If the Unit supplies the van and shovel, dictates the start & end times (and tea breaks), and tells you what to dig or record each day and when to do it, then you are an employee entitled to PAYE via a company payroll system. True "freelancers" by comparison are free to negotiate these terms as part of their tenders, even if some basics like delivery deadlines and required deliverables (like reports, data sets, etc) are set by the Unit in its brief. This is of course separate from true freelancers such as finds/enviro specialists who will agree a piece of post-ex work for a given fee...

The issue is that using "freelance" workers for what is essentially employment is a tax dodge that cheats HMRC (and our society as a whole) of the Class 1 NICs that all employers have to pay. If you have evidence of abuse, pick up the phone!
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#33
chiz Wrote:Wax, comparing wages to freelance day rates is rather difficult but the DF is pushing for the IfA to publish a ballpark minima figure for freelance to compare to the minima for employees.

At which point those of us that choose for whatever reason to freelance at rates below an IfA minima fall foul of the code of conduct.... I'm not sure that is a positive move!!

In my own case I choose of my own volition to work freelance for a certain amount of my time at a very low rate of remuneration. Sometimes even for free!! Why would the DF seek to make an example of me (essentially a good guy, IfA member for 26 years, trade unionist for nearly 40 years, unreconstructed hippy, socialist, drunk etc etc), whilst having no effect whatsoever on those who subscribe neither to the IfA nor the struggle for better conditions for archaeologists in general......and additionally a 'regulation' that is virtually impossible to monitor. Not good!!

To my mind another example of why IfA should steer well clear of these matters!!
With peace and consolation hath dismist, And calm of mind all passion spent...
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#34
Couple of things just to help keep on topic.

Quote:I think David has done this for his grades and suggests ?115 a day for a site assistant before any accommodation/long distance travel is added (David, please correct me if wrong).
That is right.. it is a tricky one as it is really up to the Freelancer to decide what they charge. this is just a suggestion about how much it would be to keep equivalent with salaried work. 100-115 is about right.

As to freelancers working for set time etc... there is a thing called Labour only sub contracting

not new... read this Hansard report from 1966
Quote:n order to contract labour, particularly over the last few years, employers have been in fierce competition with each other, and to attract the labour required, they have offered substantial under-the-counter payments, in addition to nationally negotiated wage rates. Even this aspect of the situation has been lessened, because in many cases these conditions of employment have been superseded by 212 recourse to what we know as labour-only sub-contracting. Under this system, the main contractor, having successfully tendered for building work, engages one, and frequently several, labour-only sub-contractors on an undiluted piece-work basis, on the premise that these men become self-employed and independent contractors. The main contractor is thereby the employer only in name. It is true that many of the larger contractors in industry now only lend their name to the contract which they have secured. In this extremely mobile and' highly casual industry, still undermanned and notably deficient of skilled craftsmen, this invidious system permits and encourages the use of semi-skilled or even unskilled labour to supplement the skilled men available. The average labour-only sub-contractor has few, if any, scruples and it can readily be understood that there can be a serious diminution in standards of workmanship, with subsequent disastrous consequences for a consumer.
http://hansard.millbanksystems.com/commo...r-only-sub

However. it is not unlawful.

Here are the rules. and as you see. Labour Only is a good way of cutting costs

Labour Only Sub Contractors

Labour only sub-contractors should be treated as Employees for the purposes of cover under this type of insurance. Generally they work under the direction of the Insured and do not provide their own material or tools (with the exception of small hand tools). Cover would therefore be arranged for LOSC by the main contractor under their policy.
Determining BFSC or LOSC status

Whilst it is difficult to provide an accurate definition, it is important to try and correctly determine the status of sub-contractors to ensure that the cover provided by the policy is adequate.
As a general guide as to whether a worker is a LOSC or BFSC;
If the answer is ‘Yes’ to all or most of the following questions, then the worker is probably a LOSC and would need to be covered for employers liability insurance:
  • Are they paid by the hour, week, or month?
  • Can they receive overtime pay or bonus payment?
  • Do they only supply their own small hand tools?
  • Do they always have to do the work themselves?
  • Can the principal contractor tell them at any time what to do, where to carry out the work or when and how to do it?
  • Can they work a set amount of hours?
  • Can the principal contractor move them from task to task?
If the answer is ‘Yes’ to all or most of the following questions, then the worker is probably a BFSC:
  • Do they agree to do a job for a fixed price regardless of how long the job may take?
  • Do they have a contract of service as opposed to a contract of employment?
  • Within an overall deadline, are they able to decide what work to do, how and when to do the work and where to provide the services?
  • Do they regularly work for a number of different people other than the principal?
  • Do they have to correct unsatisfactory work in their own time and at their own expense?
  • Do they hold their own public liability insurance in their own name?
  • Do they pay the cost of all materials or supplies required for the work without being reimbursed? (excluding minor items and consumables).
  • Can they hire someone to do the work or engage helpers at their own expense?
  • Do they risk their own money e.g. if they bid for a job and the bid is too low they have to bear the additional cost themselves?
  • Do they provide or hire in the main items of equipment they need to do their job, not just the small tools that many employees provide for themselves?
There is no legal requirement for a self employed sub contractor to have insurance, but it may be a condition of the contract they have with a main contractor that they must have it in place before start work for them.

now............... where were we :face-topic:

Ah yes... pay rates, minima and the collapse of archaeology if we get an extra few quid a week.. :face-huh:
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#35
I wasnt talking about genuine self employed people, freelancers and one man bands.It is the poor practices of a limited number that put the fear into the rest of us! Sort of agree a little with Kevin in that I mix freelance work with my own projects and I guess I would fall foul if there was a required day rate - not on commercial projects but I do other research/ work for charities on a reduced rate or free of charge! But for people who are not freelance by choice and who do not have the experience to do anything but take it there is a big problem. Stupid thing is that if everyone said no enough is a enough then these companies would be forced to change. Short term thinking again and once more a complete inability to act in the common good Sad!

But back on topic - I think it is important that the unscrupulous practices of some non-IfA units should not cloud our judgement on what is right and fair and should not hold others back from striving for improvements in pay and conditions. To reiterate my earlier post 3.5% is not a large amount when you consider the nature of archaeological employment. Many archaeologists will not be in employment all year - and as the majority of companies retain only a core permanent staff there is not a huge increase in outgoings - when diggers are employed they are effectively bringing in money for the company which is charging them out at a dayrate.

Costs are going up and times are tough - I hope this will focus the minds of those who were unwilling to challenge for improvements during the better pre-recession times. We didn't act then when we had leverage and look what has happened. It is now being argued we cant change now, tough foreveryone etc etc. It will have to come - we cant continue as we are there isn't going to be a good time to do this and we really need this now.
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#36
Quote:Costs are going up and times are tough - I hope this will focus the minds of those who were unwilling to challenge for improvements during the better pre-recession times. We didn't act then when we had leverage and look what has happened. It is now being argued we cant change now, tough foreveryone etc etc. It will have to come - we cant continue as we are there isn't going to be a good time to do this and we really need this now.
This is the bit that annoys me most.

When times were good, the rates did not go up greater than a few percents and the excuse? We have to be competative in this work enviroment.
When times were bad, teh rates did not go up because it would be madness and cause the collapse of the industry ( which did not happen )and lay-offs ( which happened anyway)
Now the excuse is?

There will always be an excuse. and as long as people accept it... then thats the way it will remain. Prospect have to show some balls. stop talking about it and do it.

I also refer you all to the calculations that sow a n increase is affordable.

AS Trowelfodder says. there will never be a good time, but "3.5% is not a large amount when you consider the nature of archaeological employment. Many archaeologists will not be in employment all year - and as the majority of companies retain only a core permanent staff there is not a huge increase in outgoings - when diggers are employed they are effectively bringing in money for the company which is charging them out at a dayrate."
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#37
Funny that the IR always seem to have been quite happy with how that 'Unit in the North' operated...sadly all the fun you guys get from sprouting pages of drivel on here periodically will now have to be aimed elsewhere since they seem having a bad attack of employing people instead :face-crying:

Actually the ?65 was ok once you added in the free accom (usually top-rate), mileage, travel etc....worked out a lot better than being 'employed' at a lot of other units
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#38
What we are talking about is our attitudes of a culture of professionaldelivery.

If tractors now drive at 30mph to stop holding up hauliers when their on theroad, then the simple response is efficient sampling of the unknown.

But the process of professionalising sampling is a matter of negotiation,when we are discussing scale of relevance.

Local regional knowledge almost becomes an albatross, because they try toestablish commercial market sampling relevance, whilst larger nationalcontractors must establish a consistent standard of delivery across regions.

If you’re talking about AIfA supervisor and PIfA supervisors, what is theiroperational sampling scale and focal for specialisation?

At what stage does professional practice management (supervision A) haveanything to do with specialised sampling oversight (supervision B ).

I'd say mostly it’s based upon core employed staff to up acceptablestandards.

But given this situation, how do you keep core operatives happy without paying(supervision A), or providing better conditions of appreciation (SupervisionA/B ), whilst conjointly promoting supervision A with B?

Answer an open work force market, which equally drives down pay andconditions.

After you've done with this degree of work flow management (Management A),then you are presented with the issue of where are you going (Management B ), at which point the believers commit, the status updates and the fighters harmoniseagain.

But really the answer does rely upon somebody moving goal posts at the righttime.

If you can catch the moment then that’s good, whilst if you’re always seeingothers fumble the ball on absolute perspectives then there is no answer.

As they always say 'There are no hard and fast rules in Archaeology', whilstI'm sure this transposes to the heritage sector as a whole.
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#39
Quote:If tractors now drive at 30mph to stop holding up hauliers when their on theroad, then the simple response is efficient sampling of the unknown

Quote:professionalising sampling

I'm really sorry but I don't understand any of this last post!!!:face-huh:
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#40
I do wonder if some of the stories of undercutting in tenders is a bit of an excuse used by units to justify their own low wages for employees and lack of long term contracts. Like many here I have often undertaken self employed work and have found that for the type of jobs I undertake I can negotiate a pretty good rate very close to that discussed above. I have even put my prices up in line with inflation over the years. i pay my taxes and have very good insurance. If I as an individual can do it and still find work what is it that is really stopping the profession banding together and fixing a living wage.? Too many units with directors determined to rake off the profits for their own pockets?
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