Be careful on what you sign
As you may be aware, I’m partner at Xinfra (http://www.xinfra.co.uk) and my role there is CTO, basically this is part of my role as the company grows. The main role is being principal consultant, it means that I’m always onsite.
However, from time to time when things at Xinfra is slow, I wear my contractor hat for few weeks until things start catching up again.
This time of the year is a good example, UK school half term, just after Easter, so I had to wear my contractor hat again and when this happen, I need sign some paperwork.
Last week, I was speaking with a company and after few phone conversation and interviews I finally got a face-to-face interview.
But before the day before the interview I got the contract and started reading and noticed some things:
1- there was nothing saying working hours, but was saying that they would have control over me at all times until the end of the engagement. So I asked this to be changed and an overtime clause being added
2- the intellectual property was also saying that anything used on the engagement or created at any time during the engagement would be their intellectual property or they would have perpetual access to it, so asked to change that anything that I already have created would continue being my intellectual property but their client would have perpetual free use of it. I also asked to change the clause to only things created during working hours would be their intellectual property
There were few others things I asked to change that does not need to be said here. As you can imagine, I asked these changes just after lunch time
On the day of the interview I left home heading to the place that was on the west side of London (I live on the east side, if you know London, living outside the underground area takes you at least 1 hour to be anywhere and for me was worse as I had to travel from one side of the city to another, so about 1h30min)
Anyway, got a call at 8:56 from the person that was organising the interview saying they had to cancel because I was too demanding.
What I have to say? 1st, they should have cancelled it the day before not 1 hour before, so I don’t think they have been professional on this one
2nd, Too demanding? I think I’m only trying to protect myself, but seems that the company think they own you and everything you do, including what you do in your own free time.
And I wasn’t even applying for a full time job, imagine the contract you need to sign for a full time job with them? It would probably have a clause that they own your soul…
So, what are the lessons here? be careful and if you’re not sure, ask help from a lawyer or maybe your accountant to review the contract for you, they have more experience than you