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I recently started a new job. I was hired as a contractor. I was told the work hours would be standard (8am-5pm) but this wasn't written into the agreement. Now my boss is asking me to work over night. This is to be awake during the time people who are in other countries on the team are awake.

The contract is short term but might get renewed. I would like to keep the job for as long as possible. I don't mind working late, but starting at midnight is excessive. The pay for the job is very good. When I started the agreement was I would be working in the office a few days a week. Things changed recently with the policies regarding COVID so I'm working at home and currently using my own computer.

I've never been in a situation like this before and am wondering what kind of questions to ask and what requests would be reasonable. As a contractor, I really should get to decide my own schedule, but the reality is things like this aren't uncommon.

Would it be reasonable to ask for a pay increase? If so, how much? I think they know they are paying me well (which is great) but could use more to pay off school loans. Another thing is I would appreciate to get paid more frequently. Would it be fair to request this or is this too unrelated? Is this a good time to negotiate or not really? I intend to ask for how long would I be working night shifts and would there be any flexibility. For example if the contract gets renewed I would prefer working regular hours again.

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    It's common to pay more for graveyard shifts i think. Payroll processing costs money, and they're not going to change there schedule just to accommodate you. – Andy May 25 at 21:15
  • Why is your boss asking you to work overnight? Do you really need to get paid more frequently? I mean, sounds like a nice-to-have, but you probably should be focusing on getting the other stuff sorted first. – Gregory Currie May 26 at 0:52
  • @GregoryCurrie he's asking because the people I work with are in a different time zone. He knew this before the job started and still told me it was normal work hours. What do you mean by do I really need to get paid more frequently? I don't see how that's relevant? – cooltrix15 May 26 at 2:04
  • Regarding the question if you really ned to get paid more frequently, I really don't care about the answer, you probably have to prioritise this against all your other needs. For most people, just budgeting a bit better means you can get paid less frequently. – Gregory Currie May 26 at 2:15
  • Depending on where you are, verbal agreements can be just as binding as written agreements, (but harder to prove). Ideally you'd want to get something in writing where they indicate that you previously agreed on standard business hours. Getting paid more for working odd hours is reasonable. You should certainly sit down and renegotiate your contract. How aggressively you pursue this will come down to your bargaining power. – Gregory Currie May 26 at 2:22
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Would it be reasonable to ask for a pay increase?

Very reasonable. It's fairly common to pay more for evening or overnight shifts when a job would typically be daytime.

Another thing is I would appreciate to get paid more frequently. Would it be fair to request this or is this too unrelated?

It's fair to ask anything. It's unlikely they will change their pay frequency just for one contractor, but you won't know if you don't ask.

Is this a good time to negotiate or not really? I intend to ask for how long would I be working night shifts and would there be any flexibility. For example if the contract gets renewed I would prefer working regular hours again.

If your short-term contract is nearing completion, then this is the right time to discuss an extension and what you would prefer for a longer term.

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