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I am currently the only software developer in a small oil company (50 employees or so), I have handed in my notice (4 weeks) but have been asked to continue working for the company in my spare time after my official leave date until they have managed to hire a replacement and they will pay me to do so.

In my contract it does not say anything about working after your notice has finished. The amount I am currently earning is not that good. How can I secure a better rate for this work? Are there conventions for rates for post-employment consulting like this?

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If your notice period is over, you are no more their employee and not bound by a contract anymore (you still have a few obligations like non-disclosure of their trade secrets).

So feel free to arrange any freelancing agreement you want, especially any rate. Think that, thanks to your experience on this job, you will cost them less than anyone else.

Also beware that you may have to pay taxes yourself (depending on the income), this can make a big difference.

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You propose a short term consulting contract of $X/hour, 24 hours written notice by either party to terminate the agreement, and hours per week are dependent upon availability. You are in a position of power in this negotiation in that you don't need them but they seem to need you. There aren't really conventions for this situation but I would say you are safe asking for consulting rates (maybe 3-5 times the local average hourly rate for employees).

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I would be very wary about doing work for a company you do not have a contract with. At the very least, you need to get whatever you've agreed to in writing, including wages (I assume that since you'd be doing that part time they're paying you by the hour), how many hours you're expected to work, what times, and so on. This strikes me as a situation in which a month down the line the old company decides they're not going to pay you because you're just completing a task they originally hired you to do or something.

The other issue is non-com agreements, which from what I have gathered are mostly all but unenforceable but which also require a bit of courtroom drama before the judge dismisses them. Do you have a non-compete with the old or the new company? Working for them both at the same time, even as a developer, could potentially violate one of them, and unless you have it in writing that both sides aren't going to pursue this, a handshake agreement may be worthless.

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It's not uncommon for a company to ask if you can be on call for someone to contact you after your employment ends. Now, if all they are doing is calling you to ask minor details such as "what is the password to server X" then that is fine, I think since it would take literally 1 minute worth of your time.

If they are asking you to do full work that would take more than a few minutes or calling you every five minutes for simple questions, I would say, "My time is valuable and I do not wish to do this without being compensated." Chances are though they might get upset if you say this out the gate. I would wait until they start calling. Chances are they might not even call.

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