Frequently Asked Questions
RATHER A LOT of useful information for freelances has appeared in the Freelance and it's all archived online at www.londonfreelance.org/fl. But what's where? This updated Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) list will help you find it. From "holiday pay" to getting money out of recalcitrant clients, it's all here. Or if not, you'll tell us.
- I need the emergency legal number - fast! Where is it?
- I'm a photographer
- Am I eligible for a Press Card? If so, how do I apply for one, or renew one?
- How can I protect my sources, with all these Investigatory Powers laws?
- When is the next London Freelance Branch meeting and what's it about and where is it?
- I've just become a self-employed freelance. What do I need to do about tax, how do I file a tax return?
- Copyright? Help! What are my rights in my work?
- Where can I quickly find rates being paid by different clients?
- What are the suggested rates? There are so many different rates in the Rate for the Job...
- What's this about "BACS payments" and what do I need to do to get one?
- My client is late paying! Where can I find out what to do?
- Commissions? contracts? How do they work? Where do I get help?
- Does an email count as a contract?
- What about holiday pay/paid time off and other worker's rights?
- My client has cancelled the work they booked. What can I do?
- How do I find contact details for Branch committee members or for people at head office?
- How do I tell the NUJ I've moved or that I've just become freelance or...
- Email discussions - how do I join one?
- How do reduced rate NUJ subscriptions work?
- But I don't know what my question is! What question do I ask?
- What more advice is available?
- Wrong questions? We need your suggestions for more FAQs.
See www.londonfreelance.org/photo - updated frequently with news and advice useful to photographers and other visual creators.@NUJ_LFB on Twitter for last-minute updates.
We're keeping a close eye on proposed changes in the tax law - see www.londonfreelance.org/fl/1611tax.html and following articles. The Freelance Fees Guide offers basic advice on what you currently need to do.
The Press Cards Authority issues cards to NUJ members who can show that they are news-gatherers. You cannot apply for a Press Card until after your NUJ membership is approved. See about join the union at www.londonfreelance.org/nuj-join.html and see detailed advice from the Freelance at www.londonfreelance.org/fl/1702pca.
London Freelance Branch has had a number of eminent speakers giving useful advice, summarised by the Editor at www.londonfreelance.org/fl/sources.html
There's a calculator for interest and compensation on late payments at www.londonfreelance.org/interest.html - with links to more advice. And NUJ members can use the form at www.londonfreelance.org/collect.html which helps you provide all the details the Freelance Office needs to help NUJ members chase really recalcitrant clients.
See, also, the Gong Award archive at www.londonfreelance.org/gong.html for previous late payers.
Use the Bankers Automated Clearing Services (sic) to get paid directly into your account: see www.londonfreelance.org/fl/0702bacs.html which also explains the "IBAN" code.
People who say copyright is complicated are mostly people with an interest in pulling the wool over your eyes. It's not. Read the absolute basics in just 800 words at www.londonfreelance.org/c-basics.html and we have a booklet that is free to NUJ members: Copyright for journalists and writers
The Rate For The Job page is at www.londonfreelance.org/rates - which you can reach from the home page by clicking on the Rate for the Job logo.
You want the Freelance Fees Guide, at www.londonfreelance.org/feesguide
See the advice section of the Freelance Fees Guide at www.londonfreelance.org /feesguide/advice.html - and the downloadable Confirmation of Commissioning forms at www.londonfreelance.org/forms/cccform.html
A Freelance Organiser writes: "If an email exchange contains a clear offer and a clear acceptance and agreement on a 'consideration' such as cash then it constitutes a contract. We have used emails as evidence in the Small Claims Court for many years." More from the Freelance Fees Guide here.
Your entitlement is 24 days a year, pro rata for the days you work. The announcement at www.londonfreelance.org/fl/0711work.html links to much more advice.
You had a contract. They owe you. That's the theory. For a discussion on the practicalites, see www.londonfreelance.org/fl/0611canc.html - and for "kill fees" on commissioned articles and pictures see www.londonfreelance.org/feesguide /gegetkil.html
For email addresses for London Freelance Branch (LFB) go to www.londonfreelance.org/lfb/contact.html - and for Head Office go to www.nuj.org.uk/contacts. Then click on the link for the contacts you want.
Perhaps sadly, the London Freelance computing complex is not fully integrated with Head Office. Please let us know of changes of email address, and anything else you wish to share, at www.londonfreelance.org/linkup
Click on the networks link on the home page - or go to www.londonfreelance.org /contacts.html#networks - then click on the name of the network, then fill in the form to introduce yourself.
To sign up for monthly LFB alerts, go to www.londonfreelance.org/linkup@NUJ_LFB on Twitter for last-minute updates.
See full details on the official NUJ website at (last time we checked) www.nuj.org.uk/join/join-the-nuj-how-much-will-it-cost
Go to the website home page at www.londonfreelance.org - you know you are there because that's what's written across the top. It has links to the most commonly used pages of the site. The home page also has a link to the site map: full contents in the box below Alerts. That page lists all the major sections of the site.
The site is so big - more than 6000 pages - that even its architects generally use the site search engine to find the information they want. Enter simple search queries in the space directly under the NUJ London Freelance logo in the side bar on the right of many pages.
You want to type in a word or words that should appear in the page you want to read, then click "Search". For more help and advice on searching the site, see www.londonfreelance.org/searchlp.html
Wherever you are, clicking on the green logo takes you back to the home page.
There is an index of advice and help at www.londonfreelance.org/advice.html - reachable from the advice link on the home page and linking to the Fees Guide advice.
We need your suggestions for more FAQs. Email firstname.lastname@example.org