Life moves on, and I’ve now joined the ranks of the Working From Home. A directional drilling contractor I’ve worked for in the past approached me a while ago, about looking after the documentation for some new projects they expected in 2020. I was certainly open to suggestions; my attempts at re-entering civil engineering had rather turned out as a reminder of why I’d left the industry in the 90s, and we’d had a good relationship in our previous dealings.
I’d seen this as a possible opportunity, it works well in the oil and gas sector but British civil engineering, not so much. HDD people are close enough to oilfield people (sometimes they are the same people) and they make it work.
It also gets me off the IR35 hook. This was a major crisis in its early stages, immediately before Covid19 hit the fan, and no part of it has been resolved. Civil engineering will undoubtedly try to “reset the clock” on paying flat, all-inclusive rates when work picks up again, and that dog won’t fight, not at this stage. There are clear indications that at least some companies are taking the bull by the horns, and reverting to PAYE forms, including a long-overdue recognition of the uses of fixed-term and short-term contracts... offset by much blind resistance from contractors who in many cases, don’t properly understand their own accounts, and a range of wilfully over-optimistic hair-splitting and dancing on the heads of pins, about being “inside” or “outside IR35”. With WFH and an oilfield-type. contract which pays reimbursable expenses on a realistic basis I won’t have to deal with it, hooray!