The Case for Culture North East
Cultural Workforce & Skills 28 August 2023
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Freelancer Best Practice Checklist

The Freelancer Best Practice Checklist is created in partnership between North East Culture Partnership and North East Culture Freelancers.

It is designed to help organisations and freelancers to improve and refine working practices to make the North East the best place to be a cultural freelancer.

Complete the checklist and see how you’re doing.

Top recommendations for Freelancers

  1. Get a contract

Always make sure you get a written agreement that covers the work you will do, over what timeframe, the fee and what will happen if either party wants to end the agreement. Make sure you know who you answer to, the sign off procedures, how long that might take,

  1. Be clued up about money

Make sure you’ve considered both how much you need to earn to survive as well as what the going rate is for the work you do, remember to consider your experience and skills when setting your rates. Make sure you understand:

  1. Track your time

Track all the time you spend on the job, including meetings, planning and admin. You can do this via a spreadsheet, a diary or there’s software that can help you, such as Toggl. This will help you to understand how much time you spend on work that you’re not being paid for, so you can plan accordingly.

  1. Ask for what you need

If you have access needs or there are certain ways you need to work to do the best job, we suggest having a ‘way I work’ statement that you send to every new client, get in touch with us if you need an example.

Top recommendations for organisations

  1. Create a Freelancer Policy

This is a policy that makes sure freelancers are treated fairly and consistently across your organisation, it’s a good starting point for every organisation contracting freelancers. See some examples here.

  1. Give all freelancers a contract

Every freelancer worker should receive a contract outlining the scope of the job, the time period, the pay, any insurances required and who they will be in contact with from your organisation. You should be sure to review the legalities of what you can and cannot ask freelancer workers to do.

  1. Pay people for all time and on time

You should pay freelancers for all contact time they have with you, meetings should be included, as should ad-hoc phone calls and reporting time. A freelancer should not be losing money to work with your organisation. Payments to freelancers should be on time (ideally within 14 days), it’s important to be aware that a delay in payment could have huge consequences, as it would for anyone in your workforce.

  1. Make it easy to work with you

Consider letting your freelancers use your resources, such as office space, wifi or equipment if relevant. Make sure you ask each freelancer if they have any access requirements or requests that enables them to do the best job they can.

If you want to talk more about how you can improve or refine your working practices, book a call with Leila D’Aronville, founder of North East Cultural Freelancers.

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