Terms of business – Interpreting services

In requesting Syntacta Translation and Interpreting to undertake an interpreting assignment, any individual or corporate body (hereinafter referred to as “the Client”) enters into a binding agreement with Syntacta Ltd (hereinafter referred to as “the Translation Service”), said agreement being covered by the following terms and conditions:

  1. Nature of Interpreting
    1. When commissioning an interpreting assignment, the client shall indicate clearly in writing the type and purpose of the interpreting assignment, that is whether it is ad hoc / informal / liaison interpreting, consecutive interpreting, simultaneous / booth / conference interpreting or whispered interpreting. The Translation Service will as far as possible assist the Client in identifying which of these types is required before an agreement is reached. The Translation Service will then sub-contract the work to an interpreter trained and skilled in the particular type of interpreting agreed.
    2. The cost of the interpreting assignment shall be determined in accordance with the appropriate scale of charges of the Translation Service applicable to the particular type of interpreting required.
    3. The Translation Service reserves the right to instruct its interpreter to cease the interpreting assignment if the work is not of the type and purpose agreed between the Translation Service and the Client.
    4. If the Client requests that the interpreter continue the assignment even if the type and purpose of the interpreting work is not that for which the interpreter is skilled or trained, the Translation Service cannot be held responsible for the quality of the interpreting service received from the interpreter, and no consideration will be given to any subsequent complaint by the Client of the standard of service nor will negotiation of any reduction in fees be entertained by the Translation Service.
    5. In advance of the interpreting assignment, the Client is required to provide any material which may assist the interpreter during the assignment, for example names of the attendees, articles relating to the subject matter of the meeting/event, background information on the companies involved etc. Relevant reference material should be supplied to the Translation Service as early as possible and in any event not less than 72 hours before the start of the assignment so that the interpreter has time to familiarise him- or herself with the specific terminology used. No complaints regarding the quality of interpreting will be entertained by the Translation Service if these materials are not made so available.
  2. Quotations
    1. Verbal estimates and those rates laid down in the Translation Service’s price guide are given for guidance only. They are not binding on the Translation Service and are subject to written confirmation by the Translation Service upon consideration of the type and purpose of the interpreting assignment.
    2. Where VAT is chargeable, it shall be additional to the fee. All expenses incurred by the interpreter in the undertaking of the interpreting assignment will be charged at cost to the Client upon submission by the Translation Service of the interpreter’s receipts. The Translation Service will charge for the interpreter’s mileage expenses, if travel is by car, at the rate of 45 pence per mile, or for standard class rail or air travel as appropriate. Agreement will be reached between the Translation Service and the Client before the interpreting assignment is undertaken, with respect to payment of accommodation costs and any other expenses the interpreter is likely to incur in undertaking the interpreting assignment. Where the Client provides meals for an interpreter, no sustenance charges will be made nor will the travelling expense of an interpreter be charged to the Client if the Client supplies the relevant travel tickets to the Translation Service at least 10 working days in advance.
  3. Completion of work
    1. Should the interpreter be unable for any reason to attend the event or meeting at which he or she was due to undertake the interpreting assignment, the Translation Service shall alert the Client at the earliest opportunity and shall endeavour to provide a substitute interpreter.
  4. Force Majeure
    1. In the event of Force Majeure, the Translation Service shall notify the Client without delay, indicating the circumstances. Force Majeure shall entitle both the Translation Service and the Client to cancel the order, but in any event, the Client undertakes to pay the Translation Service for any work already completed or any expenses already incurred by the interpreter. If appropriate, the Translation Service will assist the Client to the best of its ability to place the order elsewhere.
    2. Force Majeure shall be Strike, Lockout, Industrial Dispute, Civil Commotion, Natural Disaster, Acts of War, computer or equipment failure or any other situation which can be shown to have materially affected the Translation Service’s ability to deal with the order from the Client.
  5. Cancellation
    1. If the interpreting assignment is commissioned and subsequently cancelled, the Client shall pay the Translation Service a compensatory sum to be agreed between the parties which shall not be less than the costs incurred by the interpreter at the time of cancellation. It should be borne in mind by the Client that if the assignment is cancelled at very short notice, the interpreter may be unlikely to find alternative work on the dates agreed for the interpreting assignment (and may have had to turn down other work in order to be available for the interpreting assignment) and the Client may therefore be liable to pay all or some of the interpreter’s fees for the days of lost work involved.
  6. Liability
    1. The Translation Service shall be relieved of all liability in respect of obligations incurred to the Client that it cannot fulfil for reasons beyond its control.
    2. The Translation Service shall not be liable to the Client or any third party in any circumstances whatsoever for any consequential loss or damage of any kind (including loss of profit) and the Client shall indemnify the Translation Service against all claims and demands upon the Translation Service for any such consequential loss or damage.
  7. Complaints and disputes
    1. Any complaint in connection with the work carried out by the interpreter shall be made by the Client to the Translation Service (or vice versa, as the case may be) within five days of the last day of the interpreting assignment. If the parties are unable to agree, the matter may be referred to the Arbitration Committee of the Institute of Translation and Interpreting (London, UK) for arbitration within a time limit of two months from the date on which the original complaint was made. By the application and acceptance of these Terms of Business, it is implicitly agreed a priori that the decision of the Arbitration Committee shall be final and binding on both parties.
    2. Unless specifically agreed otherwise in writing, any disputes not dealt with as in 7.1 shall be settled according to English law in the English courts.
  8. Payment
    1. Payment in full to the Translation Service shall be effected within 30 days of the date of the invoice. For long assignments the Translation Service may request periodic partial payments on terms to be agreed.
    2. The Translation Service will exercise its statutory right to claim interest (at 8% over the Bank of England base rate) and compensation for debt recovery costs under the Late Payment legislation if it is not paid according to its agreed credit terms.
  9. Confidentiality
    1. The Translation Service and its interpreters shall at no time disclose to any third party any information acquired either during the interpreting assignment itself or from any documents provided for the use of the interpreter during the assignment, without the express authorisation of the Client.
    2. The Translation Service and its interpreters are responsible for the safekeeping of the Client’s documents, including copies, while these are in the Translation Service and its interpreters’ keeping, and shall ensure their secure disposal.
  10. Use of interpreters
    1. No Client shall use the services of a Translation Service interpreter other than by submitting the work to the Translation Service, within twelve months of using the interpreter’s services through the Translation Service.
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