Never worked as an IT contractor before? Weigh up the positives and negatives before taking your first step into the world of contracting.
Contracting is a major part of the IT industry in Australia due to the high amount of project work, and the need to ensure business continuity. Contracting comes with its pluses plus a degree of uncertainty, but on the whole can make for a really exciting career in which you gain skills and experience which are very in demand in the market.
Benefits of IT contract jobs:
Large number of opportunities, many of which are longer term.
Great way to gain experience and 'get your foot in the door.'
Flexible, varied work that is typically project based
Exciting projects – work as the technical specialist
Higher hourly rate
Provides experience in a role/company before committing long-term
Excellent opportunities to network and gain different skills/experience
The ability to manage your lifestyle and enjoy genuine breaks between assignments, great for travel or family time.
Negatives of IT contract jobs:
No leave, public holiday or sick pay
Job uncertainty. There’s no guarantee of an extension and businesses frequently change their projects
Possible periods of unemployment in-between contracts
Unstructured career path which can include less training and development
Hired for your skills only – less benefits
Less financial security, which can impact getting finance or a mortgage
What are the different types of contractor?
You can work as a Spark contractor in one of several different ways:
PAYG Contracting: You become an employee of Spark for the duration of your contact assignment. We will require you to provide us with your tax, super, banking and personal details as well as completing the required forms and contracts.
Working through a Management company: You elect to be paid through a GST registered business that is not your own. Typically these are payroll management companies that specialize in salary packaging to optimize your tax throughout your contracting career
PTY Contracting: You are the nominated representative of a GST registered business. To take up this option the business will need to provide certificates of currency for Workers Compensation Insurance, Professional Indemnity and Public Liability insurances as well as Business registration documents and banking details.
When will I get paid?
If you have your approved timesheet us by 4pm on a Tuesday you will be paid by EFT by the end of the week. PTY contractors and those working through management companies must also send a corresponding tax invoice in order for us to process payment.
Please ensure you provide Spark with up-to-date account details.
Pay cycles will vary between weekly or fortnightly subject to the client assignment you are working on.
How are timesheets processed?
Timesheets can be downloaded or accessed online. Your password will be emailed to you, once you become a Spark contractor. Submit your Timesheet here.
Timesheets need to be approved before they can be processed.
You must submit your timesheet to Spark by 4pm on a Tuesday to ensure prompt payment. Spark accepts timesheets via email, fax or online, subject to our client’s requirements.
Will my contract be renewed?
We recognise that one of the most stressful aspects of working as a contractor is the uncertainty surrounding renewals.
Spark tackles this issue at least 4 weeks prior to your scheduled contract end date. We are here to ensure you know where you stand and can assist in making the transition to your next contract period as seamless as possible.
Alternatively if your contract is coming to an end we will work with you to find your next Spark assignment.
When is Superannuation paid?
Super is paid into your nominated account on a quarterly basis. Please ensure Spark has your current account details.
I’ve got more questions – who do I speak to?
For questions big and small, please don’t hesitate to contact your Spark Candidate Manager. They’ll be able to help with details of your role, start times and locations, pay queries and other issues.
Not sure who your Candidate Manager is? No problem, just email us: firstname.lastname@example.org and the right person will be in touch with you shortly.