One of my previous employer wants me to update a tool that I developed during my internship. It would be remote work, part-time for about 20 hours a week, and I expect the work to last ~1 year.

To make this work, I would have to make certain changes that would require significant financial commitments. How can I ask for a guarantee of employment for a part-time job?

I don't want to be left with unaffordable budget if the part-time people change their minds after few months. I don't have experience signing contracts so I'm not sure if it would be appropriate to ask for: 1 year guarantee, or early termination fee.

I know certain parts of an employment contract (like noncompete for a year) are not really enforceable so is something like this enforceable? I don't expect them to backtrack if they agree to such provisions ... but still, I am wondering about the legality and how often such provisions are agreed to.

  • 1
    This is completely country dependent. Where I live you can get a contract for a year and it is completely enforcable. It's even normal to have something like that. In other countries you can be fired on the spot for having the wrong hair color. You will need to be more specific and if you actually put money on the line, you should get legal help too, do not depend on people on the internet.
    – nvoigt
    Aug 15, 2016 at 5:06
  • You could just ask for a longer notice period (three months, six months, what you feel comfortable with). I don't see why this would be unenforceable. Though this is a legal question, so head over to law.stackexchange.com
    – sleske
    Aug 15, 2016 at 7:29
  • Do not ask for a guarantee. A guarantee is too much of a nebulous concept. Ask for cold hard cash. That cash will be your guarantee. Call it a deposit, or a retainer, or whatever else you want. For instance, if you have to relocate, call it a relocation package. That being said, I am not clear on the "significant financial commitments" you'd have to make in order to do the job. If you can tell us what those are precisely, we can tell you what they should be called when you ask your client to pay for them in advance. Aug 15, 2016 at 9:03
  • @StephanBranczyk mainly rent based on extra $ from the part-time work
    – player87
    Aug 15, 2016 at 17:44
  • @player87, I've got nothing for that one. Calling it a deposit or a retainer is probably the way to go. Aug 15, 2016 at 18:28

1 Answer 1


I do many longterm projects. There is a couple of ways to handle it and make sure you come out ok.

Half upfront is a favourite of mine, if I estimate a year of work, pay me six months before I start. This ensures that the client is making a big enough commitment from the start that they're unlikely to throw it away. It also means I have a big interest in completing the project successfully, because I still have a big lump sum to collect.

The other way is regular short interval payments. If I'm doing 20 hours a week, pay me weekly. This means that their outlay per payment and my risk are vastly reduced on both sides. At most I'll lose 20 hours work if they don't pay which while not good, won't kill my business.

Both of these are dependent on the client, and the latter is better if you cannot be sure of timeframes because it can be open ended. With the first if I miscalculated by a lot and finish very early, I'll cut their last payment down a bit.

Some clients I'll make them pay the lot up front, but I have a rock solid rep for delivering on deadlines so I can get away with that.

The hardest part I find is estimating the costs so that it works out properly for both sides.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .