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Extra charge for work on weekends
Thread poster: Bettina Behrendt
Bettina Behrendt
Local time: 01:57
English to German
+ ...
Jul 30, 2005

Hello!

I'm a Germany-based novice translator and I would like to get some hints how much extra charge would be appropiate for a job to be done over the weekend (% of rate per line). How much do you usually charge?
I'd also like to know if there's a difference in the extra charge for a job received, let's say on a Friday to be delivered on Monday, and a job to be turned in a few days later, but which is to much to complete during "normal" working hours.
Awaiting your comments, and cheers in advance,

Tina


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Gerard de Noord  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 01:57
Member (2003)
German to Dutch
+ ...
Weekend? Jul 30, 2005

Hi Bettina,

As a novice I'd forget about the concept of weekend altogether. Don't charge anything extra until you can afford to.

Regards,
Gerard


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Kathinka van de Griendt  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:57
German to English
+ ...
24-hour service, if at all Jul 30, 2005

Hello Bettina,
I have only ever charged a surplus rate (and that rarely) for translations which HAD to be completed within 24 hours and therefore kept me from my well-deserved sleep.... and I'm not a novice, either!
Regards and all the best for your future,
Kathinka

[Edited at 2005-07-30 16:53]


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Juan Jacob  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 18:57
French to Spanish
+ ...
What's that? Jul 30, 2005

No, I don't think it's a good idea since we're not employees.
As Kathinka says, only extra charge are for rush jobs, OK.
And holidays are difficult to plan, too. You'll see.
Luck to you.


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Rosa Maria Duenas Rios  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:57
20% surcharge on the total price Jul 30, 2005

To me, a job received on a Friday to be delivered on Monday morning is a rush job. It means you HAVE to work during the week-end, and as such, I would add my surcharge (mentioned above).

I have been translating for 8 years; if I were a novice translator in the process of building my client portfolio, I would probably charge 15 or 10% instead of 20%, but I would definitively add a surcharge.

It does not matter if the translator has 1 month or 20 years experience, if a client wants a rush job, I believe it just fair that he/she should pay the price. Otherwise, one sets a self defeating principle: the client might come back again every Friday asking for translations delivered on Monday mornings at a regular rate, and you are trapped working every week-end. My two cents.


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Christel Zipfel  Identity Verified
Member (2004)
Italian to German
+ ...
For me, too! Jul 30, 2005

Rosa Maria Duenas Rios wrote:

To me, a job received on a Friday to be delivered on Monday morning is a rush job. It means you HAVE to work during the week-end, and as such, I would add my surcharge (mentioned above).

I have been translating for 8 years; if I were a novice translator in the process of building my client portfolio, I would probably charge 15 or 10% instead of 20%, but I would definitively add a surcharge.

It does not matter if the translator has 1 month or 20 years experience, if a client wants a rush job, I believe it just fair that he/she should pay the price. Otherwise, one sets a self defeating principle: the client might come back again every Friday asking for translations delivered on Monday mornings at a regular rate, and you are trapped working every week-end. My two cents.


I fully agree! Even as a novice you are entitled to have your weekend free, I think, and it does really not matter how much experience you have!

I normally work on weekends, but this is my very own decision: I prefer to take some hours off during the week to spend otherwise and to catch in this time on weekends.

But if I get a job let's say on friday afternoon for monday morning, that's definitively a rush job and I believe the client has to pay a surcharge.

I normally charge from +20 to +25% for weekend jobs, depending on the volume.

[Edited at 2005-07-30 18:53]


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baroni  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:57
Member (2004)
English to Italian
+ ...
Week-end fees! Jul 30, 2005

I agree with my two colleagues above.

At the beginning I didn't do that and I saw that many customers profited by me this situation.

As soon as I introduced higher fees for week-end jobs they said that the jobs were not so rush and that Monday evening/Tuesday would be ok.
In Austria it is common to have "week-end fees".

Good luck
Francesca

[Edited at 2005-07-30 18:33]

[Edited at 2005-07-30 18:33]


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Stephanie Wloch  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 01:57
Member (2003)
Dutch to German
52% charge weekendfee (poll in Germany) Jul 30, 2005

A recent poll held by the German translator organization ADÜ.
819 respondents > 52 % charge weekend fees
70 % have minimum rates for small orders.
http://www.adue-nord.de/archiv/einkommensumfrage.kurzbericht.pdf

If you are in great demand of course you can charge various fees.
But as a beginner....
By experience I would strongly advise you to concentrate on another more important thing if working for agencies:
Find a good agency with friendly and professional PM's.
Reliable, dedicated, helpful. Paying well and punctual.
Quality assurance with feedback.
If such an agency does not pay a weekend fee, nevertheless you can benefit from a fruitful cooperation.

Continously checking the blueboard here was and still is a great help for me.

Good luck to you!




[Edited at 2005-07-30 20:35]


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Amy Duncan  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 21:57
Portuguese to English
+ ...
Almost all my jobs are "rush" jobs Jul 30, 2005

I can't even imagine charging extra, since almost all the work I get, the client wants "yesterday.")

Amy
Rio de Janeiro


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Ralf Lemster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 01:57
English to German
+ ...
Depends on the price level Jul 30, 2005

Hi all,
Whether or not a weekend/rush/overnight surcharge should be applied also depends on the price level. If you're being offered a rate that's below your target, this shouldn't involve having to work overnight. On the other hand, if you manage to charge a decent rate, you can probably afford to apply that for weekend work without surcharge.

Best regards,
Ralf


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PCovs
Denmark
Local time: 01:57
Member (2003)
English to Danish
+ ...
Weekends - what's that? ;-) Jul 31, 2005

Well, I haven't been charging weekend rates, but I am considering doing it, and this for a couple of reasons:

It's virtually impossible to plan as much as one day of not working!

I have a baby of now 6 mths., and I have only limited time during the week (including weekends) to get jobs done. Therefore, I have had to put a little pressure on one of my clients, who ALWAYS ask for rush jobs late in the afternoon and over the weekend. As it turns out, the deadline has been moved forward each time I have told my client that it would not be possible for me to meet the deadline.

Therefore I am not really worried about applying weekend and/or overnight charges, since I now know that most rush jobs apparently are not rush jobs at all!

Good luck.


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Olav Rixen
Canada
Local time: 16:57
English to German
+ ...
Not until you're quite busy Jul 31, 2005

It's a matter of common sense. If you are a novice and only get a job or two during the week, it doesn't make sense to charge extra for weekend jobs. Once you have a solid client base and are kept busy during the week to the extent that you may have to turn down the odd job, then I would charge extra, maybe 20%. Your long-established clients would probably pay, and if not, they would certainly not drop you as a translator. Don't forget that many agencies will also ask a surcharge from their clients for weekend/rush jobs. In short: if you can afford to lose the odd job, go for it, if not, then don't.

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Strohfeuer
Local time: 01:57
English to German
+ ...
Why? Jul 31, 2005

I find it highly unprofessional to charge weekend rates. As a freenlancer you're free to take days off whenever you like, and you have the privilege of working over the weekend.
Most agencies won't expect you to work over the weekend, because their clients won't expect them to be working weekends.
But if you agree to work over the weekend, it will be usually appreciated very much if there's urgent work to be done, and I'm sure the agency will call again!
Plus, there's nothing like "the weekend" anyway: In Islamic countries people have the Friday off, in Israel it's the Saturday. And there are many, many religious and national holidays all over the world! It's really difficult to keep track of all of them in a multi-national company!


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Philippe Etienne  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 01:57
Member
English to French
Secure your customers first Aug 1, 2005

Hello all,
I can't see why it is "highly unprofessional" to charge extra for working at weekends. Many services are more expensive when carried out on week-ends and translation should be no exception.
That said, I agree that if your working week is patchy or if you need to secure customers, charging extra may not be the right policy. I did work a lot at weekends for no extra charge, but now I just feel I need a proper break every week. And if I am required to work then, an incentive must compensate the leisure time I miss... Charging extra being a way to prevent "weekend abuse".
I like to believe I am a professional AND I do charge a 50% premium for WE jobs. As a rule, I no longer accept jobs at my standard rate that I cannot fit in a 5-day week of 45/50 hours. When I turn down a job, if the customer comes back to me saying I am stuck, please help, then I agree to shorten my week-end or work extra hours at night for an extra charge.
No customer has ever told me I was being unfair or unprofessional. I work mostly for agencies, so I know they can find somebody else or try to negociate a deadline extension with their customer if they feel they can't afford to pay more. Maybe I would have a different view if I were dealing with direct customers, but then my week rate would be higher than my current WE rate...

Have a good week,
Philippe


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PCovs
Denmark
Local time: 01:57
Member (2003)
English to Danish
+ ...
Not unprofessional! Aug 1, 2005

Kerstin Mohnberg wrote:

I find it highly unprofessional to charge weekend rates. As a freenlancer you're free to take days off whenever you like, and you have the privilege of working over the weekend.


I guess you should see the thread below giving a top ten of translation MYTHS - here's an apetizer:

"7. Translators don't mind working nights and weekends at no extra charge."

Here's the thread: http://www.proz.com/post/222816

Don't you have a family?
Perhaps I am a freelancer and could as such - in principle - take a day or two off during the week to compensate for working on a weekend, but perhaps my husband and my children can't do the same, and then I have still missed my time with them! Indeed there should be compensation for that!

In Denmark at least, younger children cannot go to e.g. daycare on weekends, and I would have to hire someone else to look after the children while I'm working.

...and...
I happen to know quite a few agencies that would expect work done over the weekend. I have just not yet been smart enough to charge extra!




[Edited at 2005-08-01 10:20]


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