I recently entered into a consulting/contracting deal with a local company to do ASP.NET development work and also consult with their local developers with questions they may have about development. I have a full time job so its basically a side-gig. The contract specified around 10 - 15 hours average per week. It was originally a 4 month contract contract with an option to extend. We're now approaching the end of the 4 months. The company would like to extend and are now drafting a new contract.
However I do have a few concerns. First off, for the first 3 months I had a healthy amount of work, averaging 11 hours per week. However recently it has slowed to as little as 4 hours per week. I'm fine with the lower hours however if it continues to slow or possibly go to 0 hours some weeks, I basically lose my incentive/enthusiasm for doing the work.
Basically worse case scenario I turn into an "oncall consultant" getting nickle and dim work every once an a while. Not something I'm looking forward to. Basically my idea was to incorporate a 2 hour minimum per week. So if they didn't provide me with at least 2 hours per week I would bill them a minimum charge to "keep me on contract" so to speak. So if the provided me with no hours, I will bill 2 hours that week, if they provided me with 1 hour of work I would bill 2 hours for that week, if they provided me with 3 hours I would bill 3 hours for that week.
Anything less than 2 hours per week and I think I'd rather just not extend the contract. My question is, how exactly do I word this into the contract? Since I'm changing the terms midway into already starting work with them.
I can't exactly call it my "price to keep me on contract" clause. Or the "on call minimum fee". I want to call it something like a minimum retainer hours, but that doesn't seem correct either since there not really paying me a retainer they're just paying me the hours I work.
Any help would be appreciated or examples people have used in their contracts to incorporate a minimum hour threshold. Or is a minium hour requirement something that is typically just not incorporated into development type work. I would have to imagine someone who is contracting full time would have to have some type of minimum hours per week to have a stable full-time income for example.