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Spoken Interpreter Payment Terms

Please note that the revised rates of pay set out in this document replace any previous rates of pay that may have been sent to you, which you signed and returned at the start of your career with Language Empire.

Please Note: These terms apply to all bookings accepted from the 1st December 2016

Your band rate will depend on the assignment type and/or your qualification(s) defined within Band Rates 1, 2 and 3 as mentioned in the “Band Definitions” outlined below;


  • MA in Interpreting & Translation
  • MA in Interpreting
  • MA in Translation
  • BA Hons Interpreting & Translation
  • Recognised Degree in Modern Languages from a UK University
  • B Ed Hons (with foreign language component)
  • DPSI (oral and or written)
  • Met Police Test (Inc. simultaneous interpretation)
  • Home Office Approved & Assessed Interpreter
  • IND Assessment (Home Office)
  • AIT Assessment (formerly IAA Assessment)
  • Diploma in Interpreting & Translating
  • Any other interpreting qualifications equivalent to any of the above


  • Interpreting in Health & Social Care
  • Open University Interpreting Course
  • Introduction to Public Service Interpreting
  • Certificate in Professional Interpreting
  • City & Guilds Interpreting Course
  • Community Interpreting Level 1, 2 & 3 WEA
  • Community Bilingual Skills Certificate (CBS)
  • Recognised Foreign Language Degree from a UK University
  • Any other interpreting qualifications equivalent to any of the above
  • Studying towards a qualification in Band 1


  • UK language related degree with language component
  • MA in Teaching of English from a UK University
  • Recognised degree in linguistics or English Philology from a UK university
  • Overseas degree Interpreting, Translation, Linguistics, English
  • UK academic sector specific degree – Sector specific i.e. Law, Psychology, Biology etc.
  • Overseas language/linguistics-related degree
  • Overseas MA in Teaching of English degree
  • Diploma in English from a UK university
  • Overseas English degree
  • Other qualifications (checked against NARIC or OFQUAL)
  • Any other interpreting qualifications equivalent to any of the above
  • Studying towards a qualification in Band 2


As of 1st October 2015, we have introduced a new band rate “Band 0” which applies only to the interpreting assignments in the following types of environments;

  • MOJ i.e. HM Courts, Police Stations
  • Home Office i.e. UK Border Agency
  • Private Sector organisations i.e. Solicitors
    • You must have the minimum qualifications listed in Band 1 and or be a member of a professional register i.e. NRPSI, ITI or IOL.

Bands 1, 2 and 3 apply to bookings which take place for the following types of assignments. The rates below are set out on the basis of assignment type:

  • NHS i.e. hospitals, doctors’ surgeries, health clinics, dentists, ophthalmologists
  • Local authorities i.e. council offices/venues and departments
  • Other public sector organisations i.e. Probation Service, CAFCASS
  • Third sector organisations i.e. charity, self-help organisations and voluntary organisations

The rates below are set out on the basis of regular assignments for interpreters.


If you are member of one or more of the professional bodies below, you will receive an additional £0.25 on top of the first hour for each interpreting assignment. Before this is applied we must see evidence of registration and hold a copy on file.

  • Institute of Linguists (IOL)
  • National Register Public Service Interpreters (NRPSI)
  • Association of Police and Court Interpreters (APCI)
  • Institute of Translation and Interpreting (ITI)
  • Society of Official Metropolitan Interpreters (SOMI)


Out of office hours will be paid at an enhanced rate of 25% (time and a quarter) of the original rates. You will see this enhancement shown as a separate line on your payment remittance sheet. When a booking starts in one pay rate time and ends in another, you will be paid enhanced rate for the hours worked in the enhanced time. If more than half the total time worked is in the enhanced rate time, you will be paid for all the hours at enhanced rate.

Normal Office Working Hours

  • Monday – Friday 08:00 – 20:00

Out of Office Working Hours

  • Monday – Friday 20:01 – 07:59
  • At any time during weekends (Friday 20:01 [Saturday & Sunday] to Monday 07:59)
  • At any time during any public and bank holiday (day and night)

All band rates are inclusive of travel expenses and mileage if your return journey does not exceed 50 miles travelling distance. Should your return journey exceed 50 miles, ‘Additional Travelling Expenses’ will be paid, see below.

Please note: All travel expenses and mileage will be checked in accordance with internet route planner(s) to avoid discrepancies/disputes. The following online route planner will be used: Google Maps. We will check and amend all claims accordingly. Every mileage claim must be supported with satisfactory evidence that it is reasonable. If there are questionable discrepancies, there may be a hold back in payment until they are resolved. Therefore, it is in your best interest to process your claims as accurately as possible. We also verify assignment times with the service user to avoid unnecessary queries during invoicing. If you use public transport, we check average travel times and fares with the public transport provider and pay accordingly.


  • Mileage will be paid for the number of miles travelled over 50 miles, for a return journey if you are travelling by car.
  • For example, if your return journey is 58 miles, you will only be paid for each mile in excess of 50 miles, for example (8 miles x £0.24 = £1.92) as additional travelling expenses.
  • £0.24p per mile


  • Travelling time will only be paid if the return journey is in excess of 100 miles and if the travelling time for the return journey is in excess of 120 minutes.
  • You will be paid per minute for each minute in excess of 120 minutes.
  • For example, if the return journey you travelled was 150 miles and it took 160 minutes for your return journey, you will be paid for each minute in excess of 120 minutes, which is 40 minutes x £0.13 = £5.20.
  • £0.13p per minute or £7.80 per hour


  • Public Transport costs will only be refunded where the return journey is in excess of more than two hours travelling time for a return journey and the most economical route is taken.
  • 50% of the original fare of public transport will be reimbursed such as bus, train and tube tickets only if original tickets or receipts are provided.
  • For example, bus fare for a return journey of £5.00 will be 50% reimbursement of £2.50.


Taxi fare will only be paid, if authorised in an emergency and must be authorised in writing by Language Empire. The use of taxis to bookings will only be agreed upon in exceptional cases. (Please see below list). If this falls within office hours, this will be arranged for you by Language Empire’s booking office.

Example of emergency scenarios:

  • Out of office hours and late at night, where the interpreter does not have own transport, we may authorise the use of a taxi.
  • Where we receive an emergency booking at the last minute and we require an interpreter, who does not have their own transport, to get to the venue as soon as possible. We may authorise the use of a taxi to get to the venue, as opposed to using public transport in order to avoid any delays in emergency situations.
  • Please note, if you do have your own vehicle, we do expect you to use it even out of hours. If this is not possible due to tiredness/alcohol consumption, we should be notified as this would render you as unfit to interpret.


We do not pay for parking tickets and parking fines.


  • Language Empire will pay you for a minimum of one hour for each assignment booked through us, which you attend, regardless of how little time you are needed. For example, you could be booked for an assignment which only lasts 20 minutes, you will however be paid for one hour unless otherwise agreed.
  • You will be paid for a minimum of one hour for each booking you attend as long as you go to the session with a valid reference number and arrive on time.
  • You will still be paid if either the non-English speaker or the professional does not turn up.
  • If the professional does not attend, you must inform the office before leaving the booking location. You are required to stay for 50% of the allocated time in which you have been booked, before leaving the venue.
  • If you are late and the professional no longer needs to use your services, you will not be paid and a penalty will be applied.


  • If your booking appointment lasts more than an hour, any additional time will be paid per minute. You will be paid for any additional time, longer than the first hour, you work even if it exceeds the booked duration.
  • If you are required to stay longer, through your own professional conduct, where possible, please facilitate this if the professional requires you to do so.


  • You will only be paid for your actual interpretation time at the venue, not the total amount of time for the estimated duration. (Minimum 1 hour).
  • Only where the estimated duration for an assignment is more than four hours and you have not interpreted for the whole duration, the remaining duration will be paid at 50% of the additional time.


If you carry out consecutive assignments at the same venue for different non-English speaking patients/clients, you will be paid within the same hourly rate or for additional time rather than being paid for two separate assignments at the fixed rate. At times, it may be possible for you to complete two bookings which are adjacent to one another. Where this is possible, Language Empire will endeavour to arrange bookings / appointments allowing you to do so. In other cases, Language Empire may require/assign you to a number of sequential bookings, which require your specific language skills. Language Empire Customer Account Managers will work with you and our clients to meet this need. Payment will be based on the time for which you will be booked and not on individual patient/client basis.


  • If payment is not made within expected time frame, or there is a discrepancy in the amount paid, contact the Finance Department via email:
  • All emails will be acknowledged with an automated read receipt.
  • For each query raised, a ticket is logged on our Enquiry Management System.
  • Here a ticket will be allocated to the relevant member of staff and dealt with within 5 working days.
  • For audit trail purposes, where possible, please send your enquiry in writing to us.
  • If the query is of a complex nature, which you are unable to describe in an email, send an email requesting a call, detailing the best time to call you and someone from our experienced team of finance assistants will call you.
  • Our finance team will endeavour to contact you to resolve your query within 5 working days. You will either receive a response in writing or via phone.
  • Sometimes, it can take longer than 5 working days, please be patient, we guarantee that your enquiry will be resolved.
  • If your query still has not been resolved after a period of 10 working days or you are not happy with the outcome of your query, please email our Linguist Relations Management team on with a brief detail of the issue and you will be contacted within 24 hours.
  • Please note Language Empire will not tolerate any form of harassment or verbal abuse towards members of its staff. All our calls are recorded and any such incidents will be immediately investigated.
  • If Language Empire cancel a booking and the cancellation notice is given more than 2 hours’ in advance, no cancellation payment is payable.
  • All payments will be authorised and transferred providing we have a job sheet signed by you and signed by the Professional (service user) from the Customer Organisation.
  • Payments will be made by Language Empire directly into your bank account within 7 days of your payment remittance being issued.
  • It is therefore essential that you have provided Language Empire with your correct bank details or updated bank details if you have moved banks recently. It is not the responsibility of Language Empire to chase up bank details from interpreters.
  • At management discretion we may consider an early payment for interpreters (in an emergency situation) who have provided their services to Language Empire for over 2 years.
  • For jobs carried out in any given month you will receive payment at the end of the following month.
    • Example: If you carry out 24 jobs in the month of November, your payment remittance will be automatically processed on or before the 31st December – (providing you have returned all your signed job sheets for the month).
    • Your payment remittance will be processed on a Monday and you will receive an email notification.
    • You will have 7 days to review your payment remittance, to check for any errors / discrepancies in your payment remittance and to raise a query.
    • Providing there are no errors / discrepancies in your payment remittance and you have not raised a query(s), your payment will be automatically transferred via BACS on the following Monday.
    • Example: Your payment remittance is emailed to you on Monday 21st November, providing there are no queries raised for errors or discrepancies in your payment, your payment will be transferred via BACS into your bank account on Monday 28th November.