This Policy was introduced in October 2021 and is reviewed annually by the staff and Board of Trustees. If this isn’t your experience of working with us, please talk to us.
We recognise the vital role freelance workers play in the cultural sector, and how much we have to gain from these relationships. We believe it is important to acknowledge the challenges that freelancers face that are not shared by salaried staff, and to find ways of providing employment on a more equitable basis. This policy sets out our commitment.
ARC employs artists, practitioners and other creative staff on a freelance basis, primarily to deliver creative learning activity, develop artistic work with us or to work on productions in collaboration with our Associate Artists and Companies.
We are committed to treating freelancers fairly and respectfully, recognising that you do not benefit from the same terms and conditions as salaried staff. We recognise that we are dependent on the artistic output of freelance staff to maintain ARC’s artistic offer, and seek to establish a more balanced, symbiotic relationship.
This commitment is demonstrated by the following:
2.1 Supporting artists and freelancers
Applying to us
• We aim to streamline application processes whilst ensuring they are accessible to all. We will always advertise the timeline of deadlines, shortlisting, interviews and appointments. We will give general feedback to all applicants, and individual feedback to any applicants we interview.
Approaching us for development support, programming and commissions
• We want our processes to be as transparent as possible and we regularly publish information on our website about opportunities and how to contact us. You can read our artistic policy for guidelines on what we are looking for and how to approach us. We aim to reply to everyone who contacts us directly about opportunities, and you can expect us to be honest with you about whether a) your work is likely to fit our artistic policy priorities, or b) your work fits in with our timelines for planning and programming.
Contact and Communication
• Freelancers will always have a named point of contact within the organisation, and access to other staff to support their work and practice.
• We value freelancers time and will seek to streamline contact time and meetings, and save travel time and costs by offering opportunities to talk by phone or meet online.
• If we are contracting you on a freelance basis to deliver a programme of work for ARC, you will be given a written brief and a line manager. We will discuss all relevant areas of delivery expected from both of us.
• Freelancers working regularly with us become part of the fabric of who we are and will be included in relevant organisation-wide communication, invited to all-staff meetings and special events.
• We like to plan well in advance and for all activities to run smoothly and as stress free as possible for all involved. This means that freelancers should expect to be asked about the arrangements for your activity in advance of delivery, to enable rooms, equipment, refreshments etc to be set up prior to the start of your activity.
• For larger scale events and productions, it is likely we will put a team together including technical, programming, front of house and event support. We will work with you to ensure that the level of support we can offer and any associated costs are clear and agreed in advance.
• Most of our correspondence takes place by email and we aim to reply to emails from artists and freelancers we are working with, wherever possible within 10 working days. We aim to reply to emails from artists and freelancers new to us within 20 working days.
• We acknowledge how time consuming administration is and will always look at ways to keep this to a minimum for freelancers in areas such as applications, contracts and information based forms.
• We may require you to have an up to date DBS check to carry out your work with us. If so, we can make arrangements for this.
Professional Development and Training
• If we offer freelancers support and training we will always be clear about what that is, and when it will be available.
• Wherever possible, we will open up training sessions available to salaried staff to freelancers who work regularly with us.
• Freelancers working with ARC are offered an opportunity to observe a Board meeting. This is part of our wider commitment to operate as transparently as possible, reduce the mystique around boards, and equip more artists and freelancers with the knowledge and experience that might encourage you to apply to boards in the future.
• We will make ARC’s resources available to freelancers working with us, including access to office space and printing facilities, workspace and equipment.
• We know how important it is to feel comfortable and like you have a base in a building so whilst working at ARC, freelancers will have access to a Green Room which is equipped with a fridge, kettle and microwave.
• If you are new to ARC, we will give you a welcome and a guided tour of the building when you arrive to begin work. We will largely leave you to get on with your work but your named person will be on hand for queries and questions.
• We will ask if freelancers have any access requirements when we start working with you. We endeavour to meet the access requirements of all members of staff, including freelancers, and to fulfil access riders.
2.2 Other terms and conditions
Fees and Payments
• ARC prioritises paying freelancers as quickly as possible, and definitely within 14 days of receipt of invoice.
• We do not require freelancers to fill out supplier forms, but will make payments providing an invoice with the following information is provided at least seven days before payment is due:
– Contact details including email and phone number
– Date, nature of work undertaken and agreed fee
– Bank or building society account details, to enable electronic payments
• We always agree fees and payment schedules in advance and are honest and upfront about what we can afford. We expect freelancers to scale the activity to fit within the available fee, not to reduce your fee or work unpaid hours. We want freelancers to tell us if our expectations are bigger than the fee available.
• We acknowledge that freelancers have to make provision for your own sick pay, holiday pay, pension, training and development and other costs within your fees, so we expect rates to be higher than the salaried equivalent.
• Freelance staff are responsible for your own tax and National Insurance. We will ask you to confirm this on your invoice together with your Unique Tax Reference (UTR) number.
• We do not expect freelancers to cashflow ARC’s activity. We will arrange advance payment or part-payment where appropriate and either pay directly or repay expenses as soon as possible (receipts should be retained and passed to us for our financial records).
Planning and Agreements
• We will always agree fees, arrangements, responsibilities, timescales and deadlines for activity in writing. This will not always be a formal contract but may take the form of a letter of agreement or email exchange. We are happy to provide more formal paperwork if requested.
• If delivery circumstances change, for ARC or for freelance staff, we will try and find alternative ways for freelancers to engage in your contracted work and receive payment as planned, providing alternatives (streaming, blended delivery, online) are appropriate, practical and possible for the purpose of the work.
Postponements and Cancellations
• We will always agree in writing and in advance what will happen in terms of fees if the activity is postponed or cancelled.
Policies and Information
• Where relevant, we will share our Safeguarding Policy with freelancers in advance of starting work, and arrange safeguarding training and DBS checks when required.
When things go wrong
• Sometimes things go wrong. We hope our own systems will pick this up, or that by establishing honest relationships based on trust, freelancers will be able to tell us if something goes wrong. Any issues can be raised with your main point of contact or directly with ARC’s Chief Executive. We will always respond.
Approved: March 2023
To be reviewed: March 2024