Using contractors and subcontractors
Get the most from contractors and subcontractors
Think about how to get the most out of contractors and subcontractors from the point of engagement through to completion of the contracted work.
Consult your staff
Using a contractor/subcontractor can be successful where there is co-operation and co-ordination between your own staff and the contractor/subcontractor.
Ensure your staff understand the advantages of using a contractor/subcontractor by setting out any benefits for them, eg they can get on with the core business. Inform and consult your employees.
Exercise care when hiring contractors
Take up references and talk to others to determine a contractor's/subcontractor's competence.
Check qualifications, skills, membership of relevant trade or professional bodies, quality standards and accreditations of potential contractors.
Find out the contractor's/subcontractor's policies for health and safety, selecting subcontractors and employee consultation.
If you use contractors/subcontractors on a regular basis, think about setting up a database of contacts who you know and trust.
Have a written agreement for contractors
Agree in writing:
- the contractor's/subcontractor's responsibilities
- the objectives, scope of the work and key deliverables (goals), eg in a project schedule with milestones
- resources you must provide if the contractor/subcontractor needs access to your equipment and/or staff
- fees and a payment schedule - you may wish to consider penalty or incentive schemes for under-performance or over-performance
- a procedure for resolving disputes, eg review or termination
- confidentiality agreements
You have certain legal responsibilities when you engage contractors/subcontractors and you should agree a contract for services that will help you to discharge those duties. You should seek legal advice on this.
Manage the work of contractors
You should manage and supervise the contractor's/subcontractor's work, seek evidence of work done and check that contractual obligations are met. Raise any issues at the earliest opportunity so that they can be addressed and resolved from the outset.