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I interviewed for a contractor role and they offered me the job. During the process, the recruiter told me that it is a 40 hours per week job and also 40 hours per week was written on the job description.

Now I saw the draft contract and it is for 36 hours per week. The recruiter told me that it is okay, it is just the paperwork, they do it with every contractor, but I can put 40 hours on my timesheet every time and it is okay.

Should I insist on writing the contract on 40 hours, or should I just take their word for it?

Also how can I do it in a way that I won't come off as an annoyer.

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In similar situations, I have asked the recruiter whether the 36 hours/week means any additional work will be unpaid. The answer has always been 'no'.

In addition, I actually ask the client whether the limit stated in the contract is set in stone - and they have always replied 'no'.

The reason such clauses exist differ, but often comes down to the end-client having bad experiences with contractors opportunistically billing for voluntary overtime after 36 hours.

So as long as you charge the same rate for the additional hours and deliver value, the end client will probably not have a problem.

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Depending on the country where the work is taking place and the country where you declare taxes, this could have legal and fiscal impact.

Probably best would be to contact your accountant and clarify.

I assume as a contractor you have a company or are self employed and have an accountant.

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Unless you have reasons (such as Tax reasons or your parole officer demands you work 40 hours or its back to prison) I wouldn't worry about it. If the pay seems lower due to hours then you can make an issue out of it (and you would have a valid reason to do so without coming across as annoying and pedantic).

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