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Manual Hours

Active Member
Rachel U Member Since: Feb 15, 2019
1 of 14

Hi, a potential client has asked me to log hours manually, as I will be paid for the time that the video runs (that I will be transcribing), rather than my hours worked. So my logged hours will be identical to the length of the video, although I will actually be working for more hours than that. The payment arrangement is OK with me, but I want to check whether this billing method violates any codes of use on Upwork? Thank you!

Community Guru
Jennifer M Member Since: May 17, 2015
2 of 14

Manual time is fine, but when someone tells you to log manual time is when you use the tracker without doubt.

Community Guru
Elba A Member Since: Feb 28, 2017
3 of 14

Rachel U wrote:

Hi, a potential client has asked me to log hours manually, as I will be paid for the time that the video runs (that I will be transcribing), rather than my hours worked. So my logged hours will be identical to the length of the video, although I will actually be working for more hours than that. The payment arrangement is OK with me, but I want to check whether this billing method violates any codes of use on Upwork? Thank you!


No, it's not against Upwork's rules, but you are not protected if something goes wrong, for instance, if a client disputes the hours he/she wins by default.

Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
BEST ANSWER
4 of 14

It's unusual, but not a violation.

 

PRACTICALLY SPEAKING... I'm more comfortable with this after the client has demonstrated that she can be trusted.

 

So it's Friday now. Maybe work a little before the end of this week. But until you actually start getting paid for the hours, because the client is not disputing them, you won't know for SURE.

 

I definitely wouldn't pull out all the stops and put in 40 hours or something on this until I have had a week go beyond the five-day review period within which a client may dispute hours.

Active Member
Rachel U Member Since: Feb 15, 2019
5 of 14

Thanks very much Preston, this is really helpful information and advice. Much appreciated!

Moderator
Avery O Moderator Member Since: Nov 23, 2015
6 of 14

Hi Rachel, 


The members of the Community have given you sound advise. I would just like to take this opportunity to confirm that manual hours are not protected by the Upwork Payment Protection program. 

 

I would recommend that you read more about this program through this help article, and these tips for avoiding questionable jobs to help you work safely on Upwork.


-Avery
Untitled
Community Guru
Tiffany S Member Since: Jan 15, 2016
7 of 14

That's not really an hourly contract. On an hourly contract, you are paid for hours worked. If you're being paid a flat rate based on the length of the video, that's a fixed price contract--you can pre-determine the amount due by looking at the running time of the video and the client can escrow those funds, which will provide you greater protection than manual time (which provides zero protection to the freelancer).

Community Guru
Martina P Member Since: Jul 11, 2018
8 of 14

I think it is slightly weird... there are basically 3 options: fixed price, hourly with time tracker, manual hours. Manual hours offers you the least - or no - protection. You could either agree to a fixed price (easily determined because you know the length of the video), or a specific number of hours that you log with the time tracker (also easily agreed upon, and you could just stop tracking once you reached the agreed upon hours.)

Manual hours offers no protection at all.

From the client's perspective, it makes no difference at all how you log hours, this does not create any additional work for him. Even easier is fixed price, no need to check any hours. 

Seeing this is potentially your first contract, I am a little suspicious that the client might want to take advantage of your inexperience. 

So I would discuss it further before accepting the offer and see if he is willing to agree to a solution that is better for you. If he is willing to pay, he should not have a reason not to. 

Community Guru
Elba A Member Since: Feb 28, 2017
9 of 14

Martina P wrote:

a specific number of hours that you log with the time tracker (also easily agreed upon, and you could just stop tracking once you reached the agreed upon hours.)

From the client's perspective, it makes no difference at all how you log hours, this does not create any additional work for him.


Totally agree, this is the perfect way to do this; if he insists on manual hours only I'd run, and fast!

I have a client: he said 'I don't allow manuals hours', I was like "ok", but in the inside yupi!!!!!, I don't do manual hours, either way, he gave me plenty it's almost a year I have never hit the weekly limit!

 

IMPORTANT: There are some criteria that need to meet in order to be protected.

 

Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
10 of 14

I like Martina's idea.

 

The forum participants pointing out that this is not "really" an hourly contract job are correct.

 

I would elaborate and say that:

Technically this is an attempt to COMBINE the fixed-price and hourly contract models.

 

The freelancer already said she is okay with the arrangement and the resulting pay.

 

If the freelancer is fully aware of the issues surrounding this arrangement, I think it is okay to do.

 

As I have stated before in other threads, attempts to combine fixed-price and hourly contract models usually work out poorly for the freelancer.

 

This proposed arrangement strikes me as less egregious than other attemps to combine the contract models. But it still merits caution. Hopefully this client is simply trying to be very frugal, and is not an outright scammer. That's what it seems like to me.

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