Contract concern: lengthy term?
Thread poster: Amy McCain
Amy McCain  Identity Verified
Local time: 06:36
English to Spanish
+ ...
May 10, 2012

Hello all--

Being new to the profession, I made a rather silly mistake: I accepted a job without seeing a contract. The Russian agency assured me that one would be forthcoming but that this was a rush job. Like a fool, I went ahead and did the translation and submitted it. In my defense, I researched the company, found them on the web and everything seemed on the up and up. About a day after submitting the translation I received the contract. Here's my concern: the term of the agreement is 13 months. Is this normal? Am I going to be contractualy bound to this company? Any help or advice you could send my way is greatly appreciated!

Thanks!


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Marijke Singer  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 12:36
Dutch to English
+ ...
You have not signed it so no May 10, 2012

Amy McCain wrote:

Hello all--

Being new to the profession, I made a rather silly mistake: I accepted a job without seeing a contract. The Russian agency assured me that one would be forthcoming but that this was a rush job. Like a fool, I went ahead and did the translation and submitted it. In my defense, I researched the company, found them on the web and everything seemed on the up and up. About a day after submitting the translation I received the contract. Here's my concern: the term of the agreement is 13 months. Is this normal? Am I going to be contractualy bound to this company? Any help or advice you could send my way is greatly appreciated!

Thanks!


A contract requires 2 signatures (or more) and yours is not on it so it does not bind you to anything.


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Vadim Kadyrov  Identity Verified
Ukraine
Local time: 14:36
Member (2011)
English to Russian
+ ...
Moreover, May 10, 2012

It is highly doubtful that this company will ever try to defend their rights in courts of the Uk - i.e. where you are now. It is too expensive for them.

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LEXpert  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 06:36
Member (2008)
Croatian to English
+ ...
No reason to panic... May 10, 2012

Like a fool, I went ahead and did the translation and submitted it.


You're not a fool. If anything, people here usually complain about having to fill out tons of paperwork and forms *before* any job has materialized. Sending a rush job first and handling the translator paperwork later (for future cooperation) is common.

1) As Marijke mentioned, you haven't signed anything yet.
2) What does the contract say?
Most agencies will have you sign a contract on general cooperation, i.e., what mutual rights and obligations are *if* they send you work, and *if* you accept the work (e.g., you will treat the info confidentially, you will submit work of professional quality, etc.). The contract may be specified for a fixed or indefinite period - neither of these would be unusual. What does say about termination?
You seem under the impression that this is some kind of employment contract where for the next 13 months they send you work which you will be required to do. In terms of how agencies usually operate, that is unlikely.
Read the contract carefully, and let us know if you have specific concerns about the wording.


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John Fossey  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 07:36
Member (2008)
French to English
Term of the agreement May 10, 2012

The term of the agreement isn't necessarily a concern, it's the term of payment that you're worried about. Many agreements have years' long or open-ended terms of agreement. In your online research did you find reference to their payment practices?

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Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 13:36
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
Signatures & Terms May 11, 2012

Hi Amy,

as our colleagues have already stated, you have not signed the contract yet. Consequently, you're not bond by it.

Please read the contract carefully. If it includes guidelines for future collaboration, and if you agree with their terms of payment, delivery time etc., and would like to continue working for this client, then go ahead and sign the contract. However, this contract should not include any obligation on your part to always accept every job they might send you. The decision whether nor not you accept future projects is solely at your discretion. You might have committed yourself to another large project and don't have time for there.

If you feel comfortable with all contractual terms, then you have secured a long-term client.

Regards,
Thayenga


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Mark Hamlen  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 13:36
Member (2010)
French to English
+ ...
Also, there's the Russian context May 11, 2012

Russian law requires a contract for every payment ever made. Other countries allow an order (in our case a PO) to act as a one-off contract. In the Russian context, the 13 month contract will allow them to send you jobs during this period and allow them then to pay your invoices. I wouldn't see this as a problem or an obligation, just a legal/accounting issue.

[Edited at 2012-05-11 20:45 GMT]


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Radian Yazynin  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:36
Member (2004)
English to Russian
+ ...
Not necessarily May 12, 2012

Mark Hamlen wrote:

Russian law requires a contract for every payment ever made.

According to the latest updates in the currency control regulations in force for the Russian banks actually being the gateway for payments incoming to Russia from abroad a contract, with a so called "transaction passport" (prepared by banks themselves), is a must if a transaction is just for over USD 50,000 (or equivalent). If not, an invoice submitted by Russian service providers (translators) to their bank is quite sufficient.
As for the contents of any contract, regardless of who is payer, everybody is free to adhere to the internationally established practice.
For outgoing payments, yes, a contract is required, but again, both parties must be satisfied with proposed conditions therein. Feel free to request any amendments to meet your expectations.

[Edited at 2012-05-12 03:35 GMT]

[Edited at 2012-05-12 04:19 GMT]

[Edited at 2012-05-12 04:20 GMT]


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Mark Hamlen  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 13:36
Member (2010)
French to English
+ ...
Thank you Radian May 12, 2012

This is good news. This will simplify occasional jobs with Russian clients.

I wonder if the clients are all aware of this, though.


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Radian Yazynin  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:36
Member (2004)
English to Russian
+ ...
You're welcome Mark May 12, 2012

Not all I am afraid, but many indeed. Just sometimes they request a contract to play safe.

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