covid-19: see advice in the Freelance.

Advice - Welcome / Introduction

Welcome to the online Freelance Fees Guide! It has been extensively rearranged to make it easy to use on the Web and particularly on phones and PDAs. If you have the technology, you can look up a rate wherever you are, whenever the client calls or you need 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 in the Republic of Ireland may wish to contact:

National Union of Journalists Irish Office
Spencer House, Spencer Row, Off Store Street
Dublin 1, Ireland
Tel: 00 353 1 817 0340

What is this guide for?

This guide is to help freelances - 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 tend to operate around different norms. Book publishing, for example, usually pays less 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.

Despite this, 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, 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 Guide also outlines suggested minimum rates for a range of different jobs.

NUJ members with a specific query not covered in this guide should contact the Freelance Office for advice.

Comments please

This guide, which has been published regularly since 1973, has been redrafted and updated in order to ensure that the minimum fees quoted are acceptable to freelances but at the same time realistic. The rates have been drawn up via research including an open survey of NUJ members and others. If you can add to the advice or suggest changes for the next edition, please contact the editors. Ideally, do this when a thought strikes you, rather than waiting for the Fees Guide's editors 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 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
* 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.