Service Contract (Media Freelancers)

How to make a fair and progressive service contract when engaging media freelancers.

Who Is Considered a Media Freelancer

Media freelancers are independent individuals who provide design, development, production, operation, distribution, sale or media marketing services.

When you work with a media freelancer, you are buying a service from an individual who meets all of the following criteria:

  • Does not have a contract of service with any employer.
  • Operates his or her own media service business or trade without hiring any employee.
  • Negotiates his or her terms and benefits with clients.
  • Operates as individuals; or have a registered entity with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority of Singapore (ACRA) which does not hire any employees.

Why a Fair Service Contract Matters

A fair contract with media freelancers builds trust and fosters long-term and healthy working relationships. Putting in the effort upfront to document the scope of work and set clear expectations of quality of services desired can help you avoid unnecessary downstream problems.

Note: You can receive IMDA media grants and funding for Public Service Broadcast content if you adopt the Tripartite Standard on Procurement of Services from Media Freelancers .

What You Should Do to Be Progressive

Here are some progressive employment practices you can consider. These are based on the Tripartite Standard on Procurement of Services from Media Freelancers, which you can adopt to distinguish your organisation.

Have a Written Contract

Before any product or service is delivered, you should discuss and agree on the following terms:

  • Names of contracting parties
  • Nature of services, including deliverables, duration and location
  • Payment
    • What is included in the fee
    • Payment milestones with clearly specified payment period
    • Amount of interest charged for late payment based on the date you receive the media freelancer's invoice
  • How both parties can vary or terminate contract terms
  • What information is to be kept confidential
  • Disputes will be settled via negotiation and mediation first
  • Where relevant, clear terms on ownership of intellectual property

The document of agreed terms, or the contract, should be sent to the freelancer in hard or soft copy for agreement in writing.

Pay on Time

You should stick to the payment period stated in the contract. If this isn't stated in the contract, you should pay no later than 45 days after receiving the freelancer's invoice if he or she has completed the agreed deliverable.

Prioritise Negotiation and Mediation During Disputes

Any agreement reached during a negotiation or mediation should be recorded in a document and acknowledged by both parties.

Provide Insurance

Where media freelancers offer their services on set or on location, they should be covered by your organisation's insurance. Coverage should include:

  • Production Equipment Insurance - This includes equipment operated by media freelancers and are owned by or rented to your organisation. The insurance covers against risks of direct physical loss, damage or destruction to equipment such as cameras, electrical communications, sound, lighting and grip equipment.
  • Commercial General Liability - This covers against claims for bodily injury of other parties (such as passers-by who are injured by production equipment operated by media freelancers), property damage or liability arising from production.
  • Work-Related Personal Accident Insurance - This covers against claims for death, total and permanent disability and medical expenses of media freelancers due to work-related accident.

We encourage you to go beyond the practices presented here. You can browse our resource collection to get tips, tools and ideas and learn from case studies and interviews with progressive employers.