How do interpreters handle fees for very long engagements involving travel, i.e. 3+ weeks, where one might have idle days on weekends and such?
asked 30 Nov '16, 16:37
Adrian Lee D...
On payment terms: I'd ask an -at least partial- advance payment. I could live with not having my fees paid until a few weeks after the job. But I'd like to avoid to have to tap into my own savings to pay for my airfare, hotel and per diem for those three weeks.
On the price structure: Either I get to travel back home for the week-end (in which case, travel time is billed too), or the time off is too short to allow me to touch base. In the latter case, time spent away from my loved ones is a professional constraint... even if it means having to stay in a beach resort in Cancun. So those days count as work too and will have to be paid for. Whether full price or half price depends very much on the market.
The EU for instance would pay 50% of my daily rate for travel days (e.g. if I have to make a 300km train ride the day before my assignment, which makes me unavailable for other clients). If I'm not mistaken, off days when you can't return to your base are paid the same, plus the hotel and per diem obviously. From what I've heard, expectations for travel days are even higher in the US.
answered 01 Dec '16, 04:05
Is this a private market job? If it is, you're very lucky and whether you charge for travel days and rest days is entirely up to you. I know I would, with the possible exception of rest days if the location and the hotel are propicious. At any rate it would be difficult to do without a full perdiem for each rest day.
Now, this job sounds like what the UN or one of its agencies would offer. If that is the case, the answer is clear-cut: you are not to negotiate anything but abide by the AIIC-UN agreement that applies to all interpreters, not just AIIC members, freelancing for the UN.
Be aware that some UN agencies will try and negotiate individual terms through the back door. This, however, is a clear violation of the agreement and must be reported ASAP to the AIIC Negotiating Delegation.
answered 01 Dec '16, 05:12
Vincent Buck ♦♦
Hi Adrian, When I worked for the US State Department on long assignments, we were paid every day we were on assignment, including travel days, rest days, weekends working or not, etc., all at 100% of our daily fee. So if it took me 1 day to travel to and 2 days to travel back from an assigment in Russia, plus a rest day before I worked, I got paid 100% of all 4 days plus any days worked. Of course, I was on call 24/7, though in practice I worked reasonable amounts.
On the private market, I negotiated similar conditions (though with better rates), as State Department is considered the basis for working conditions since they are the largest employer of interpreters in the country. It's always useful to have something bigger than just you to use as an example!
answered 11 Dec '16, 11:44