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Topic: Contractual clauses

consultancy offer letter
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Consultancy offer letter

Consultancy offer letter

Our consultancy offer letter is designed to complement our consultancy agreement - issue it to make an offer of engagement to a self-employed consultant and then, once the offer has been accepted, you can later follow it up with the consultancy agreement.

Genuine self-employment

You can only use our Consultancy Offer Letter and Consultancy Agreement for someone who is genuinely self-employed, i.e. independent and in business of their own account where you’re effectively their client or customer. Just because you issue an individual with a consultancy offer letter or consultancy agreement doesn’t mean they’ll automatically be classed as self-employed in employment law terms, as tribunals will look beyond the label attached and examine the realities of your relationship with the person. So make sure you’re only using such documentation in appropriate circumstances. As with contracts of employment, you’ll probably issue the consultancy agreement to the consultant on, or shortly after, their engagement commencing. However, prior to this, after you’ve had verbal discussions with them, you will probably then want to formally offer them the role. This is where our consultancy offer letter comes in - you’d use it in a similar way to a normal job offer letter (but of course you’re not offering employment), i.e. to offer the individual the role in writing for their acceptance. Then, once the consultancy has been accepted by the individual, you can later issue a consultancy agreement to them.

Terms

There are no statutory provisions governing what has to go into self-employed contractual documentation. So the important thing in the letter is to reflect the key provisions that the consultant is likely to want to know at the outset, for example, how long the engagement is for (a fixed term or the duration of a particular project?), what their fee will be, what the termination provisions are to end the arrangement, which business premises they will have access to or be based at etc. We’ve covered all these in the consultancy offer letter, plus we’ve included a couple of other provisions to protect you, including making the offer conditional on a number of matters. These include the consultant:

 having the qualifications and work experience they say they have

 having no other engagements which might conflict with their ability or availability to provide consultancy services to you - you have to be careful about demanding exclusivity (as this suggests an employment relationship) but it is acceptable to provide they won’t accept other engagements which might lead to a conflict of interest or an inability to perform the work agreed for you

 keeping the terms of the offer confidential

 confirming their status as a self-employed contractor and agreeing to indemnify you against any financial consequences of their status being determined to be otherwise.

Finally, we’ve provided you’ll then issue a consultancy agreement if the offer’s accepted and that the terms of that agreement will prevail if there’s any conflict with the offer letter. The consultant is then required to sign and return a copy of the offer letter (so send two copies) to accept the offer of engagement.

 

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