I work in a small company and I am the only developer. 8h a day and 5 days a week. I am paid per hour (~4€)

My contract expires in one month. When the employer asked me wheter I wanted to renew or not, I politely refused saying that I will leave the company after the contract end date.

I guess he got a bit mad since he started raising his voice and telling me something like "Karma will get me for not having told him before". However I think one month notice period is enough.

I am currently working on a big project and he wants me to finish it before I leave. So he stated I may have to work on saturdays and do overtime in order to finish the project. How do I professionaly refuse?

  • Do you get paid for overtime as part of your contract?
    – sf02
    Jun 26, 2019 at 18:15
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    4 euro per hour?! I would not consider overtime even if it was paid. Smile and firmly refuse, if he is not a fool then he is trying to make a fool of you. Of course you can be open to a contracting position AFTER you finished working there. Jun 26, 2019 at 18:18
  • 1
    @Twothousandandseven then it seems that if you want to work more hours, get paid more, and leave on a good note, you'll do it. But it really depends on if you want to.
    – Keith
    Jun 26, 2019 at 18:32
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    Yes, I don't live in Italy but I'm from there. If it's a stage then the answer is even more straightforward: no overtime at all. You already worked more than required (by law), you had no PTO, sick days and pension contributions. Moreover stage is by definition a learning experience, employer MUST not rely on you to produce work. Just say "no" and move on. If you are the only resource to finish a project then he completely failed in his role. Jun 26, 2019 at 18:32
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    @ben something in between an internship and a trainship. It's usually paid REALLY low and you do not have PTO, sick days and contributions. It is regulated to avoid employers to take advantage of young employees but unfortunately in Italy (AFAIK) it's often abused and they often need to work overtime and produce actual delivers (which, strictly speaking, is borderline to be illegal) Jun 26, 2019 at 18:39

4 Answers 4


I'm sorry, but I have other obligations outside of work that prohibit me from working on the project outside of the 8hours per day I'm already doing. I don't think the project can be done in the time I have left, so I would like to start documentation or a transition plan so that the next developer can pick up where I left off with as little confusion as possible. Is that ok with you?

Don't let some jerk strong arm you. What is the worst they can do, fire you? Unless you desperately need this person for a reference or you are breaching your contract, say that overtime is not a possibility, finishing the project is not possible, but you will do your best to get it into a place where it can be handed off.

  • 6
    I strongly second this answer and would like to elaborate a bit : this project is not your responsibility. As a developer, you're often sold that a project should be "your baby", your responsibility, that it's unprofessional to leave it unfinished, that you should see it through the end. No. As long as you work your hours and you do good work, that's enough. Don't let your boss guilt you in doing more. You really don't have to, and in your case I'd say it isn't worth it.
    – MlleMei
    Jun 26, 2019 at 19:52

If they had contracted you through the end of the project instead of on a time basis they would have protected themselves. Just say no, "I am going to choose not to work overtime, but I am happy to discuss alternative approaches to ensuring the project is completed successfully"


I am guessing you were employed as outsource to help the project right? if so you are under no obligation to work overtime or care about the project future 1 month is more than enough notice your boss is just being a jerk just go to your normal schedule and politely decline to stay he can do absolutely nothing to force you finish the project

If you were employed to finish the project and the contract says so then you have to finish and work whatever time necessary

  • My contract just says I need to work there until a certain date. I was employed as "IT Guy" and the project started after I got there Jun 26, 2019 at 18:24

I'd probably would have done it when I was starting out, because I wanted a good reference and wanted to finish the project.

I'm not saying you should.
~$5 USD / hour is lower than training wage here, so I don't know why he'd expect to get a completed project from you.

With my current life experience, I would not advise you to finish the project on your weekends... because I'm not sure you'll get a good reference even if you do (based on the reaction you describe).

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