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NUJ Freelance Fees Guide
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Welcome to the Freelance Fees Guide

The National Union of Journalists publishes the Freelance Fees Guide to help freelance journalists and their clients negotiate.

The Fees Guide offers suggested rates based on an open market survey - the Rate for the Job.

Further, it offers a wealth of advice to freelance journalists on everything from tax requirements to chasing down those who infringe copyright: see below for the main advice headings.

And for those who need to commission freelances, every section of the Fees Guide is just one click away from listings of NUJ freelances with the right skills, from the NUJ Freelance Directory. Look up the rate, find a freelance: sorted.

We are constantly revising the Fees Guide rates and advice: please send comments and submit rates that you have been paid in the past year. If you have not read the Fees Guide for a while it is important that you read the introduction before going to the rates listings.

Follow the links below to go to the suggested rates for each kind of work. There you will find links to further advice.

And remember that if you want advice on your particular situation, it is important to join the NUJ!

Welcome contents:


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.

§ See: General advice index

§ See: Rates index

§ See: Accessibility hints on text size, screen readers etc


The Freelance Fees Guide is designed and tested for use on mobile devices. This also means that it should also be ideally configured for accessibility, including screen reader programs.

Text size

We strongly recommend that users who need to enlarge text on any website install either the free Mozilla (FireFox) web browser or the equally free Opera web browser program. See the links below.

In recent Windows versions of either of these, hold down the Ctrl key and hit the + key to increase the text size.

On a Mac, hold down the Command key, formerly known as the Apple key, and hit +.

Repeat until the text is large enough.

Screen readers

We have attempted to design all pages with a minimum of "clutter" - so that you hear useful content straight away.

We recommend using Firefox with "style" set to None (under the View menu). Doing this moves all the navigational gubbins to the bottom of the page.

Feedback is very welcome - please email your comments to

Access keys?

We decided not to implement "access keys" - because of the irritation caused when they override browser program keyboard shortcuts.


We follow World Wide Web Consortium standards as far as practicable and are working toward making the Fees Guide fully compliant. (The remaining gaps are merely technical and do not affect screen or audio presentation.)

§ See: General advice index

§ See: free FireFox browser <>

§ See: free Opera browser <>

Privacy and cookies

The Freelance Fees Guide does its utmost to respect your privacy. When you visit this guide, the site sets a "session identifier" cookie. Since this is essential to the functioning of the Fees Guide, we are not required by law to ask your permission before setting it.

This cookie is accessible to - it can be "read" by - only this website. It is deleted when you close your browser (that is, the program you run on your computer or phone in order to view this website - such as Mozilla Firefox or Safari or Opera or Microsoft Internet Explorer).

Given their evanescence and our promise not to reveal any information, the risk of these cookies posing any threat to your privacy is "vanishingly small" - as physicists say when describing the odds on a whirlwind in a junkyard accidentally assembling a working metropolitan railway.

What are ‘cookies’ and should you worry?

Cookies are small files stored on your computer. Each contains:

When one of these persists, the next time you visit a site that has permission to read it, the program running that site can refer back to your previous visits. This kind of information on your web travels is of value to advertisers and possibly others.

As described above, cookies set by the Freelance Fees Guide do not persist. Their expiry date is set to "At end of session".

General privacy questions: our promise

This website does everything it can to avoid collecting any other information on you or your visit.

There is, somewhere, a log of all recent visits, but we do not have access to it and it is deleted monthly or more often.

We will never reveal to any third party any information which we may have gathered, deliberately or accidentally, unless you count it being prised from our cold, dead fingers.


We are also compiling a glossary or vocabulary list. Suggestions for further terms that need to be defined are welcome.

Other guides

Some journalists' unions in countries outside the UK are able to produce fees guides. In a few, such as Germany, freelance fees are routinely covered in house agreements.

Please see the links below for a selection, and please let us know of any others we should add.

§ See: NVJ Tarievencalculator Netherlands Union of Journalists <>

§ See: NJ Timepris Norwegian Journalists' Union <>

§ See: Tarife und Honorare German Journalists' Union (DJV) <>

§ See: Tarifvertrage Rates agreements by german journalists in ver.di <>

§ See: BECTU going rates for camera work (UK) <>

This is updated to 2021-11-03 16:00:00; if you have a printout, check the current version at

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.