Working Conditions

Job description:
The duties of an interpreter are limited to simultaneous, consecutive or whispered interpreting at a given event.

The interpreter is bound by the strictest professional secrecy and undertakes the moral responsibility to work with all due professionalism and shall not accept any restriction which may interfere with this undertaking.

The interpreter shall fulfil the assignment agreed to, except in cases of force majeure. In these circumstances the interpreter must ensure an adequate timely replacement by a colleague with the required language combination who is accepted by the team leader and employer.

Working hours:
An interpreter’s working day is comprised of two sessions (of a maximum four hours each, with a minimum interval of one and a half hours) amounting to 7 hours in total, commencing upon requested time of arrival. Exceptionally, the interpreter may work for an extra hour (strictly one hour) beyond this limit, subject to negotiated remuneration. In case the scheduled timetable exceeds 8 hours, a second team of interpreters must be recruited.

Interpreters are free to set their own fees/remuneration.

Cancellation fees:
Cancellation two to seven days before: the interpreters are entitled to 50% of the remuneration agreed to;
Cancellation less than 48 hours before: the interpreters are entitled to 100% of the remuneration.

Voluntary work:
Whenever an interpreter provides services free-of-charge he/she shall respect the Code of Ethics, the Professional Standards and the Working Conditions herein.

Team composition:
Conference interpreting is team work and therefore an interpreter shall not work alone, unless the specific circumstances warrant it. Each simultaneous interpreting booth shall be composed of at least 2 interpreters. An exception can be made when the total extent of the assignment is less than one hour. Whenever a booth functions two ways (two languages) at assignments lasting for a day or more, three interpreters should be recruited.

Team leader:
A team leader should be appointed for each assignment.
Whenever the duties of the team leader interfere with his/her work (for instance, at multilingual conferences), someone else should be recruited (preferably an interpreter) exclusively to carry out the duties of team leader.

The interpreter should be given the necessary conditions to be able to provide a high-quality service. All documents (agenda, related documents, speeches, glossaries, etc.) pertaining to the assignment should be provided to the interpreter at least 8 days in advance.

Technical equipment:
Technical facilities and equipment should be in perfect working order and the booths must be spacious enough to seat two people comfortably. These should be sound-proof and appropriately located so that the interpreters have a clear view of the speaker and of any projections that may be shown.

Optimal acoustic conditions must be provided for whispered or consecutive interpreting.



Written speeches:
Interpreters may refuse to interpret texts that are read if a copy has not been provided in advance.

Films and videos:
If films or videos are shown during a conference, the soundtrack may only be interpreted if the following requirements are met:
- the sound must be directly connected to the interpreters’ headphones;
- the speed of delivery/dialogue must be reasonable;
- the script must be provided or the projections must be viewed in advance.

The purpose of interpreting is so that the message can be heard directly and immediately and therefore must not be recorded or transcribed without prior agreement, in accordance with copyright issues.

Assignments away from the area of residence:
When interpreters are on an assignment away from their area of residence (> 50 km) they are entitled to:
- a refund for travel expenses. The means of transport should be agreed to in advance with the employer;
- accommodation in individual rooms in minimum three-star hotels, ideally at the same location as the conference;
- meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner);
- subsistence allowance and compensation fees, to be negotiated with the employer, for each non-working day as a result of not being able to accept another assignment elsewhere.