UASA Media Release: 09 January 2023
Statement by Abigail Moyo, spokesperson of the trade union UASA:
Freelancing has become the norm of the 4th Industrial Revolution, as some people have normalized working for themselves under different clients. Freelancing offers freedom, flexibility, control of your time and can generate a stable income.
Whether you are the new freelancer on the block or the one who has paid their dues, having proper contracts with all your clients is essential, says Abigail Moyo, public relations officer and spokesperson of the trade union UASA.
Knowing what issues and language to look out for in a contract can make you a better freelancer, says Moyo.
“Contracts are not the most fun part of freelancing but putting in the time and effort to nail down these issues upfront can help you side-step serious misunderstandings down the road”.
“The freelancing world is full of legalities that can change or even alter the working relationship between client and freelancer. Addressing work contracts correctly from the outset will make all the difference,” she says.
The following are essential clauses a freelancer must keep an eye on before signing a contract with a client.
Whose contract is this?
When working with clients, you may not always work according to your ideal contract, but rather one your client draws up.
“As with any contract you intend to sign, ensure that you thoroughly examine it and that it applies to your project and meets your expectations,” says Moyo.
After reading through the payment terms, ownership of the completed work, and project scope, please ensure that the contract represents you in the best way possible.
If you feel uncomfortable signing a contract that another party provides, you can hire a lawyer to help you draw up a contract that meets your and your client’s expectations and demands.
“Hey, I just thought of something great that we really need to add to our project!” is a phrase many freelancers hear and shows why you need a scope of work clause in your contract.
Moyo says that you and your clients need to understand what your work will entail. List the exact tasks you are hired for in the contract, or you may fall into the trap of doing endless unpaid extra work. If a client wants something different, a clause saying that additional work will be negotiated separately will ensure you get paid for everything you do.
Pay close attention to the early termination clause in your contract.
“Sometimes clients change their minds and cancel projects. If you have already started working on it and the client pulls the plug, you must have a backup plan, or you may suffer financially. Both you and your client must have a plan in place should something like that happen.”
The safest option is to include a safety clause that states that you will still receive your payment under any circumstances.
•UASA, through its Independent Professional Sector (IP), is uniquely positioned to assist freelancers or independent professionals with their contracts. Reach out to UASA IP to learn more.
For further enquiries or to set up a personal interview, contact Abigail Moyo at 065 170 0162 .