Advice - Welcome / Introduction

Welcome to the Freelance Fees Guide! We have tried hard to make it easy to use on phones as well as the Web. You can look up a rate wherever you are, whenever the client calls or indeed whenever you need to engage a freelance.

Please read this introduction before going to the suggested rates.

Who is this guide for?

This guide is aimed primarily at freelance NUJ members working for UK publishers and other media outlets.

We hope this guide will be useful by analogy, as it were, to members working for outlets elsewhere. NUJ members working for clients in the Republic of Ireland can contact the NUJ Dublin office or Dublin Freelance Branch officers (care of the Fees Guide editor).

What is this guide for?

The National Union of Journalists publishes this guide to help freelance journalists - self-employed journalists - negotiate the best rates and conditions possible for the various kinds of work that NUJ members undertake.

Different parts of the media operate around different norms. Book publishing, for example, usually pays less for work charged by the day than national newspapers - but not, by any means, always. Some rates seem to be fairly consistent, while in some areas, such as magazines, there are huge variations between different publications and even for different pieces for the same publication.

There are general points of which every freelance needs to be aware: how to respond to a commission; how to negotiate with a client; what "rights" are and what they mean to you; what to do about tax; and more. These aspects of freelancing - as well as what to do if things go wrong - are covered in the general advice section.

The Fees Guide also outlines suggested minimum rates for a range of different kinds of work.

NUJ members with a specific query not covered in this guide should contact the Freelance Office for advice. If you are not yet a member and want advice on your particular situation, join the NUJ!

This Fees Guide is a project of the NUJ's Freelance Industrial Council.

Comments please

This Fees Guide, which has been published regularly since 1973, is constantly updated to ensure that the minimum fees quoted are acceptable to freelances but at the same time realistic. The rates have been drawn up through research including an open survey of NUJ members and others.

If you can add to the advice or suggest changes, please contact the editor. Ideally, do this when a thought strikes you, rather than waiting for the Fees Guide editor to put out an appeal for help. Please also look at the Rate for the Job on and add updates to the rates as you come across them.

If you find broken links or typos, please email us, pasting in the sentence that contains the error and the address of the page it occurs on. Thank you.


NUJ members who need to know what rates were suggested in previous editions of this Fees Guide - for example in chasing payment for past unauthorised use of their work - should contact the Freelance Office.

More advice and links...
* Accessibility hints on text size, screen readers etc
* Uploaded 09/06/2323: if you have a printout, check the current version at
* Rates for the Job good, bad and ugly
* Join the NUJ to get individual advice & representation

Text © Mike Holderness & previous contributors; Moral rights asserted. The collection (database right) © National Union of Journalists. Comments to please. You may find the glossary helpful.

The National Union of Journalists must not, can not and would not wish to dictate rates or terms of engagement to members or to editors. The information presented here is for guidance and as an aid to equitable negotiation only.

Suggestions apply to contracts governed by UK law only. In any event, nothing here should be construed as legal advice.