I'm just going to address this on a per point basis as some is correct and some is not:
I think most normal employees are sick to the teeth of grossly expensive (usually twice the cost as an employee per day worked) contractors doing the same job as them,
- Unfortunately daily rate and your pay divided by number of days work is not the cost of employing someone contractors are cheaper to hire for a variety of reasons.
contractors doing the same job as them
- I always found I was not doing the same job as the permanent staff, I was usually called in to advise permanent staff as I had skills they lacked.
and seemingly never leaving that role either
- yes this annoyed me, my average time in a role was 6 months to 1 year and then I either moved on or the project was done, I did do 2 years once but that was my limit, I didn't want to stay longer, anyone doing the 5 - 10 year thing isn't really contracting.
and then listening to all the whinging about holiday and sick pay,
- A contractor should not whinge, we are running a business and the sick pay and holiday pay is something we should plan for, this is why our daily rate is higher and also why its not our wage as some permanent members of staff mistakenly believe, this would annoy me also.
Quick point, I developed a very bad illness, I had to cancel all my contracts and live off of savings for about 8 months with no income at all in that time, there was no sick pay and I happened not to have insurance. I didn't moan about this I pre-planned for such an eventuality, this is also why my rate is not my pay as I had put aside money in the business for such a day so I could pay myself and my bills should this happen.
and there's no apparent risk with your 'full time contract' is there!
- Envy much ? Sorry dude but I've been called into a room and teminated on the spot with no comeback just told "leave". This couldn't happen to you there is no such thing as no risk. Thats the point.
Contractors should be hired for a well defined job, do that job, then go back on the market.
- Couldn't agree more, unfortunately a lot of clients want to use us as temps, thats not what we are.
If the job is large enough to have standard employees do it in a team, then there's no need for contractors as well.
- No sorry we often have knowledge and experience you simply don't, this isn't something you've done wrong we've been around more usually worked on more projects and generally train ourselves or we cannot stay competative, so many permantent members of staff coast and become substandard. That said there are a lot of brilliant permies and bad contractors.
Your post reads like an envious permanent member of staff you are the sort of person I avoid because working with you is unpleasant. What we bill is not our wage, there is considerable risk working as a contractor and we can be terminated usually immediately, after the project ends the company doesn't have to give us any more work and usually we are let go (this is how its meant to be).
Another point when permanent members of staff think we are being difficult by refusing to work on other projects, well thats not what we were brought in to do, a correct contract as you say should limit the scope of work, and I'm not there to do anything else, and as the contract states you have no right to insist I do.