I've seen various contracting positions offering daily rates (IT industry). I'm guessing that if you are only there for a short time and they are paying per day, then they'd try to get as many hours out of you as they can?

I know that this would vary between employers and the only way to get a good answer is to talk to who is offering the job, but it'd be useful to have a rough guide of what to expect just so that I can convert between hourly and daily rates when browsing job ads and considering which positions I want to apply to.

NB. If anyone is worried about subjectivity, then it is possible to answer this question with a survey of what hours contractors tend to work on average, ect.

1 Answer 1


It isn't that complicated.

Your contract should specify what a "day" means. For example, it can be 7.5 hours + 1 for lunch. This will vary by company, as you can expect, as will the actual work hours (for example 9:00-17:30). From this you can calculate an hourly rate. If it doesn't say, do no sign the contract.

If you don't have any overtime clause specified in the contract, you can ask for one to be added. Having anything from *1.5 to *2.0 normal hourly rate is usual (depending on how much overtime is requested) - for example - for 2 hours overtime *1.5 the rate, for every extra hour (or part of) over that, *2.0 normal hourly rate. Not having this (or explicitly saying that there is no overtime) can imply that overtime rates are normal rates.

You may want to specify that overtime is by agreement of both sides.

These all ensure that you only work overtime when you want to and that you are compensated for it. Managers will also think twice when they know it costs them extra.

The important take away from what I am saying is - contracts are negotiable. If you don't like something in a contract, don't sign it - get it amended. If you have a lawyer to look it over as well, all the better.

  • I have the impression that in freelancing work overtime is not common. You are paid to get a body of work done in a specific amount of hours, or even for a fixed price. Even in my current non-freelance job overtime is not paid. If I work more that can be compensated by working less later on, but it is not compensated money wise. May 10, 2013 at 14:08
  • 3
    @PaulHiemstra - It depends. In IT contracting is not the same as freelancing much of the time. Contractors come into the client office to work on projects - they don't do stand alone work at home. As the OP stated - it is payment by day, not a fixed price (I am not assuming a fixed number of days either). If it were a fixed price bid, sure, that would be up to the OP.
    – Oded
    May 10, 2013 at 14:10
  • @PaulHiemstra - they probably wouldn't include a daily rate if they wanted a body of work completed.
    – user8365
    May 10, 2013 at 15:22
  • @Paul - Something to consider, Overtime is not paid to you. Doesn't mean those who ask/insist aren't being paid overtime.
    – Dunk
    May 14, 2013 at 21:37

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