7 rights you didn’t know that freelancers have!

Recently, many content creators have welcomed the news of the Copyright Act which gives them more rights to their work. Even though freelancers are not protected under the Employment Act as they are not considered salaried employees, they still have various rights and protection.

Here’s a simple list for easy reference!

1. Content creators can ask to be properly credited for their work that others share online and offline.

Previously, if a video or photo goes viral on the internet, the creator is not able to ask that they are credited for every share. However, they are now able to officially request for their name to be attributed.

2. Wedding photographers own the rights to the photos they have taken, instead of the wedding couple.

Though the rights of the photos are officially owned by the photographers, most of them are likely to consent if the couple requests for their photos to stay private and not be shared. The photographer can negotiate with the couple on how they would like to handle their photos and hopefully reach a peaceful consensus.

3. Freelancers can draw up contracts that protect their rights, including the rights to their content.

Aside from the Copyright Act, freelancers can draw up contracts that contain clauses to protect their intellectual property. Freelancers can also choose not to sign contract with clauses that they do not agree with. They can also negotiate with the client on the terms and clauses stipulated in the contract.

General rule of thumb: Do not make verbal agreements and make sure they are written down and firm in the contract.

4. Freelancers are entitled to paid family-related leave, like childcare and adoption leave.

As freelancers are self-employed, they do not enjoy the regular annual leave that is accorded to salaried employees. However, they are still given paid family-care related leave. Freelancers who are parents and have been working continuously in their trade or profession for the past 3 months are entitled to six days of annual childcare leave.

 5. Freelancers are entitled to paid maternity and paternity leave too!

In case you didn’t know, freelancers are given 16 weeks of paid maternity leave too. This is the same duration as that enjoyed by salaried employees. Likewise, fathers are also given two weeks of paternity leave.

Freelancers must have worked in their trade or profession continuously for at least the past 3 months prior to the birth of their baby to enjoy these leave benefits!

The amount calculated is based on the freelancer’s declared income with IRAS.

6. Freelancers can receive reimbursement pay when they go for reservist

Freelancers can claim reimbursement pay when they get called to go back for reservist. The amount reimbursed will be based on the latest income tax.

Remember to file and pay your income tax accurately to receive these benefits!

7. Freelancers can join a union to receive training grants, insurance and free legal advice from NTUC!

Freelancers often face frustrations of having clients make late payments, reduced payments or even no payment at all. Some clients even ask for free work to be done in return for “publicity”.

Even though they are not salaried employees and do not belong to a company, freelancers can join a union. Being part of a union helps safeguard freelancers’ rights as they gain access to benefits like free legal advice. In cases of payment disputes, the lawyer will advise the freelancer on possible resolutions.

If you are a client, please do not be a douchebag and pay what was agreed!

In addition, being a union member also gives freelancers access to training grants and insurance, among other perks!

Should more be done for delivery riders?

About Author

Editing is my work.