I received an email recently from one of my VA team members which highlighted a problem they had been having with sub-contracting VAs but it is something that all VAs should be aware of when doing work for someone – whether another VA or the client direct. And this relates to your responsibility regarding the task charged to you and also the way you carry out the work and the time that is taken to do the job.
The VA says:
I just thought I would let you know that a couple of times this year I have advertised a subbie role with a set amount of time attached to tasks… and each of these times the subbie has gone over the amount of time allocated and then expected to be paid for it.
Out of common courtesy I would think that people would always email or call to ask if they could go further with the job before just going ahead and doing the hours… this has been frustrating and I always end up paying as I feel guilty that they have done the work but gosh it is frustrating and I think rude that they even expect it. I also have an allocated budget and hours from my clients and therefore sometimes wear the extra hours as it may not fit in the budget… anyhow I just thought this might be an interesting blog topic, to ensure people are aware of their responsibilities.
Now, this is a very valid point. If you’ve been tasked to do work over a certain time period, it is NOT your right to choose to go over the time amount allocated. The VA I quoted above is within their rights not to pay any sub-contractor for the extra hours, but simply what they were engaged to do. However, they’ve felt a sense of obligation to pay – even though they lose out financially. Not all clients would see it the same way as this VA and often wouldn’t pay for the extra hours, so why should that VA too?
If you’ve been given a job to do and a set number of hours, if the job is not completed, you do NOT go on with the job and do extra time unless you are prepared to do one of the following:
- Contact the client to get permission to continue with the job, or
- Do it but be prepared that you may not get paid/acknowledged for the extra time you spent.
People set budgets and time constraints for a reason so pay them the courtesy of respecting that.