Below are my usual Terms and Conditions. When we have agreed the details of our event, I send you a booking form which will have all the details we’ve agreed, plus cancellation, technical, recording and payment terms. Once you’ve checked and signed that form, it is our contract. The T&C we agree might be slightly different from those below, which are for your general information only.
With apologies for the forthright tone of these Terms but be assured that 99% of events pass without recourse to any of them!
- If I cancel, no fee will be charged unless I felt forced to cancel because you wished to make substantial late changes which I couldn’t accommodate.
- If you cancel more than four calendar weeks before the event, half the fee is payable, plus any incurred costs such as booked trains etc. (If we can arrange another date within six months of the original date, a £50 admin fee is payable instead.)
- If you cancel under four weeks before the event, full fee is payable. (The same re-arrangement option applies.)
- If I am prevented from reaching you by illness, accident, weather, transport failure or other similar unavoidable problem, we each bear any costs we’ve already incurred and we try to rearrange.
Extra terms for online events
- The event would generally be set up by you, using your preferred platform. (But see note below about Teams.) However, I am able to host a Zoom event myself if you prefer, as I have a paid account. (I would make an extra charge for this, to cover my admin time.) I can also, if you wish, provide the services, at cost, of my business assistant who could manage to tech side during the event. My Zoom account os for meetings not webinars; if you wish a webinar set-up instead, I can do this but you would need to cover the extra cost which Zoom would impose.)
In the event of technical failure, we would do one of the following, agreed between us:
- Rearrange another date within six months – same fee and terms.
- I would record myself doing the talk and make this available to your audience for a limited time and with certain conditions to prevent sharing – same fee.
Events using Microsoft Teams
Because of frequent problems as an external speaker on Microsoft Teams I prefer not to use Teams. If you deem it necessary, I charge a £100 excess. (It’s that bad!) This is partly because we will need a tech check before the day. However, if everything goes completely smoothly at the check and on the day, I deduct this excess. How well this goes depends on how Teams is set up by the host organisation so this is in your hands!
- You will not deduct tax or try to add me to the pay roll. I am registered as self-employed (since 1985) and pay all my taxes. Self-employed people pay some tax in advance, long before earning it, so it is very difficult if we are wrongly taxed at source. If this happens, I would pass on to you an accountant-level fee for rectifying this.
- My HMRC tax reference (UTR) and NI numbers will be on my invoice, with my postal address and phone number. HMRC does not require me to provide any other information to prove my self-employed status and if your finance department asks me to fill in any forms a) I would make an admin charge (usually £75) and b) I reserve the right to refuse to give information that I regard as personal or intrusive.
- If you wish me to include any other specific information on my invoice, such as a Purchase Order number, on my invoice or elsewhere, please tell me in advance – you’ll be asked this on my booking form. The renowned Morgan Clause means that any annoying (by my definition!) correspondence (or resending an invoice because I was not given the information) in order for me to receive payment may incur an admin charge, typically £75, again at my sole discretion.
- BACS details will be on my invoice.
- Payment terms are 30 days from invoice, but if this doesn’t suit your system you are welcome to request a different time-scale. However, do let me know – for example by adding a note to the booking form, otherwise I may add a late payment supplement, whichever is greater of 10% or £50 pcm or part thereof.
- Non-UK payments must be received in GBP sterling as the full amount invoiced.
- Payment terms will be on my invoice.
Public Liability Insurance and CRB/Disclosure
- I have PL insurance with the Society of Authors, with a cover of £10million. Please contact the SoA if you wish to confirm.
- Note that a condition of all such insurance is that an author is never left alone with students.
- Authors visiting a particular school on an irregular basis are not required to have any CRB, DBS or similar disclosure document.
Recording and filming
- By default, recording is not allowed. However, on request in advance, I usually allow recording under certain conditions, which will include a time limit and password protection.
- Students and staff must have all recording devices and cameras switched off and out of sight. They should not take photos without permission from me. Exceptions will be made for accessibility and inclusivity reasons but must be discussed with me.
Please don’t hesitate to contact me if anything is unclear. I very much look forward to working with you.