Community Interpreting and ‘Connecting’ @ REAP

interpreting@reap.org.uk      
During Lockdown REAP mobile – text preferably –  07983 419388

Putting ‘Community’  into Interpreting

  • Local interpreters building relationships and knowledge of local services;
  • Face to face interpreting from basic to professional level by trainee, volunteer and fully qualified, professional interpreters
  • 60+ community languages;
  • Non-profit;
  • Interpreting training, work experience and ongoing support and work for refugees as they rebuild their lives in the UK.

“Connecting”

Community ‘Connecting’ is REAP’s catchall term for a range of roles that are about improving respect, relationships and communication both ways, between local people and large formal organisations like NHS services or colleges.  ‘Connectors’ use language and communication skills in many roles and activities:

  • community information and outreach, engaging local people using multiple languages to talk with members of the public and local workers, plus also local organisations, groups or businesses that have contact with local residents 
  • participatory research, surveys, interviews and discussions, focus groups, story-collecting, narratives
  • learning from ‘Speakers’ – people who do not yet speak good or fluent English but who need their voices and lived experiences of access to services to be understood by planners and decision-makers
  • mostly working verbally, face to face and one to one or in small groups;  Connectors can work solo and in pairs or small teams where appropriate.  Connectors can now also work remotely by phone and Whatsapp to supplement face to face work, and in recent times some have gained experience to work via Zoom.
  • workshops, presentations, supporting practitioners in other ways, culturally sensitive support, wellbeing support
  • Many Connectors are also qualified and experienced Interpreters.  Although Connectors use their language skills it is a different role (and pay scale) to interpreting; if you need interpreting please make that clear.

What services do Community Interpreters offer?

The interpreters can provide you with a basic to intermediate level community-style service.  Although we also have some advanced and professional interpreters, in most cases you should not ask the interpreters to take on tasks requiring advanced skills and training such as legal work, counselling, appeals panel etc. without checking with the REAP office first.  However, many interpreters have now been with REAP for up to 10 years, and several have gained extensive experience and more advanced (up to Level 4) training.  The REAP team will always try to find the right person for your job, so please do discuss the demands and responsibilities with us.  If we can’t help, we will help you find another service that can.

REAP’s interpreters support spoken communication, usually face to face, but several have experience of remote methods, zoom, Teams, phone calls. 

Who is our service for?

REAP’s community interpreting and Connecting service is for professionals who provide support services to refugees & migrants in primary  & community health, schools and education, housing, social care, information, advice & guidance, and equality & human rights.  It serves both statutory and voluntary bodies in West London.   

Who are REAP community interpreters and Connectors?

The prime goal of creating and running the Community Interpreting and  Connecting service at REAP has always been to support people who have sought refuge in the UK (refugees and asylum seekers) as they try to rebuild their lives as valuable and valued members of British society.

The service also gives REAP opportunities to provide refugees and others with routes into work.

Client Organisations’ Terms & Conditions (March 2021)

Important information about the service for client organisations

1. REAP is a service, but is not an employment agency and is non-profit.

Through Interpreting @ REAP, REAP provides a point of contact, communication, advice and referral designed for trainee, basic and intermediate interpreters and Connectors.  Interpreters and Connectors sign REAP’s General Members’ Code of Conduct, and Interpreters also sign the Interpreters’ Code of Conduct.  If they are allowed and entitled to paid work, once they have completed core training REAP can put interpreters and Connectors on REAP’s payroll under a casual contract and they are paid via PAYE with annual leave and pension allowances.  Many of REAP’s interpreters have now completed Level 3 and Level 4 professional exams and regularly work for the NHS and Local Authorities in London.  Connectors have a range of experience, and will usually be selected and trained by REAP and client organisations’ staff in collaboration, for each different assignment.

2. REAP provides ‘community’ interpreters NOT ‘public service’ interpreters.

Community interpreters, whilst remaining neutral, have a responsibility to improve communication between the parties by clarifying issues and terms, reducing cross-cultural misunderstanding, confirming that people have understood the role of the professional, encouraging people to speak etc.  At times this may include, for example, reassuring the service user of confidentiality so that s/he can relax and are able to explain themselves better.  (A ‘public service’ interpreter translates the exact words being said, regardless of the quality of communication between parties – typically used in court rooms or legally sensitive situations.)

If you feel your interpreter is not following good practice please tell us straight away so we can offer further training and assessment before they take on any more bookings

3. REAP invoices you for sessional ‘jobs’ or ‘bookings’.

Invoices are according to timesheets signed by a member of your staff as evidence that the job was done, with start and end times, which the interpreter or Connector then sends to REAP.   (Other arrangements can be made.)  Invoices are sent monthly in arrears, include a schedule of jobs done, dates, times, length, which key contact etc.

4. We believe that best practice with interpreters

… is for client organisations to employ community interpreters on their own staff payroll wherever possible, as regular, though probably part-time employees.  This approach has been tested in a successful pilot in Hillingdon, please contact Sarah@reap.org.uk for more information.

WHY?
Firstly Employing interpreters provides far better employment and other prospects for the interpreter avoiding pushing refugee populations further into poverty.  Where interpreters depend on agency income and are required to register as self-employed they are vulnerable to exploitation and often end up trapped in poverty.  Many who are new to the UK also do not understand the self-employment system and do not realise the obligations on them, ending up in trouble with the law and the tax system.
Secondly Employing interpreters directly is also considerably cheaper for your organisation than regularly using interpreters through agencies and improves quality as staff interpreters can be properly trained and contribute to strategy in the organisation’s relationship with its refugee and ethnic minority clients. 
We can make arrangements to pay your chosen interpreter on your behalf, through our system of casual contracts and payroll service. 

5. REAP Community Interpreters’ pay is designed as an incentive system

It increases with experience and qualifications, designed to encourage interpreters to develop their skills and work towards higher qualifications through which they can move onto other work.

6. Minimum charge is 1 hour.  Minimum cancellation is 2 hours.

Please email and ring if you need to make a late cancellation.  Please note, rates change from time to time – please check if you haven’t used our service for a while.  

The person/organisation using REAP’s community interpreters:

Must: give the interpreter the necessary details for them to do the work well, and try to allow the interpreter enough time to prepare for appointments,

Must NOT: ask the interpreter to take on tasks that are not part of their role (e.g. child care, shopping, form filling etc.), or above their assessed level for interpreting (e.g. counselling, legal work).

Fee rates for client organisations, invoicing and payment

Standard Charges per job (Correct from April 2021).  Please contact us to ask about regular, longer term or block arrangementsREAP never pays below London Living Wage.  We pay annual leave allowances, pension contributions etc. 

Admin/training costs

£ 14.50 /booking

Administration/training cost : The administration and training cost of £14.50 per sessional job contributes a proportion towards staff and overheads, providing core training eg. safeguarding, and upgrade training sessions and materials, employer’s NI, insurance etc.  Interpreting @ REAP is no longer subsidised from any source.

Travel Expenses

£   6.50 /booking

Travel Expenses : The basis for travel expense calculations is ‘cheapest route’, usually using Oyster cards.  Car rates are paid up to a maximum of £6.50 and parking / fines are not paid.  Some interpreters with disabilities must use taxis, and these higher travel expenses are spread across all clients to avoid disproportionate costs falling on one.

Payments to Community Interpreters and Connectors

Min. charge 1 hour, then by quarter hours

Connector rates start from London Living Wage.  More complex work requiring higher skills will be charged and paid at higher rates.   Interpreting jobs can also vary greatly in levels of skill and responsibility required;  different jobs require interpreters with different levels of skills and experience.  We pay our more experienced interpreters rates that reflect their commitment, experience and skill as an incentive to progress.

Basic  

(Interpreters in introductory training only)
£   0 /hour  (First 10hrs as part of core training for CIs with no experience)

From 1/4/21     

Intermediate
Int 1 

Int 2 

Int 3 

Interpreters and Connectors

£ 10.85 / hour  (LLW) + 68p A/L allowance
= £ 11.53 / hour 

£ 13.81 (incl A/L) 

£ 18.06/ hour (incl A/L)

Professional

Usually negotiated individually, but likely to be £30+/hour depending on the professional’s own rates

NOTES
Urgent/same day No extra charge but availability may be a problem
Unsocial hours: before 0900/after 1700 & Sat x 1.5 or negotiable
Sunday/Bank Holidays / Public Holidays x 2
Travel time (local work) See a) b) below Only paid after the booking has started eg. if travelling with a Health Visitor to a home appointment unless the work is outside West London, in which case please call (01895 441530)
Waiting time, etc.  See c) below See notes below
Cancellations – please ring AND email if making a late cancellation; please leave a message if you get the message service / out of hours One hour minimum notice
Others:  Eg Special purpose, Block bookings, C.London Negotiable
Translation 1st 200 words+per 1000 words Negotiable, but rarely available

Travel time

It is expected that interpreters will be travelling from within Hillingdon Borough and nearby, therefore travel time is not usually paid.

  • Minimum charges for an interpreting job is assumed to include up to one hour of travelling time within Hillingdon which is enough to allow a CI to travel across most of the Borough, except if using public transport to areas such as Harefield.  However, short notice or more jobs in more distant locations eg. central London, may increase travel expenses charged over the standard £6.50 per booking.
  • If your job is in another Borough or outside London and travel time is over one hour, we may ask you to pay towards the interpreter’s travel time if s/he is coming from far away, eg. at short notice.  Travel time over one hour will be individually agreed in advance, and will usually be charged for one direction only, at the same rate as is being charged for the interpreting job.

Waiting time

  • Where the CI waits at the same venue between two jobs booked by your organisation at that venue, waiting time can be charged in addition to charges for the jobs, up to a maximum of 1 hour, at the same rate as is being charged for the jobs, by agreement in advance.

Cancellation and late cancellations

Please give us as much notice as possible if you need to cancel a job so interpreters do not lose work elsewhere – at least 24 hours is best.  It is important for us to be able to give the interpreter as much notice as possible of a cancellation as they make considerable efforts to get to bookings (child care etc.), and we feel it is important not to damage their motivation by refusing to recognise their efforts.

Late cancellations

REAP is a small organisation.  We do not have guaranteed office cover on all days.

Please TELEPHONE REAP office AND EMAIL interpreting@reap.org.uk  where you have a late cancellation, though we may not get email messages immediately.  If noone answers your call, please LEAVE A MESSAGE as we can pick up remotely and we will know what time you rang.

During Lockdown the REAP office is often unstaffed.  Please email interpreting@reap.org.uk  or text / ring the REAP mobile  07983 419388

If there is less than 2 hours notice a standard minimum charge (1 hour +admin/exp) will apply so we can pay interpreters for any travel they have already started and their lost time/other lost work.  If you leave a telephone message more than 1hour before the booking is due to start, but we are not able to contact the interpreter in time and s/he still arrives at your location, REAP will pay her/his time and travel and you will not be invoiced.  Please do still sign their timesheet if they do arrive at your location, even if you cancelled in advance, as the timesheet gives us evidence that the interpreter did turn up – you will NOT be invoiced.

Invoicing and payment arrangements

We invoice client organisations monthly or quarterly depending on separate agreements, in arrears, based on receiving signed timesheets for the previous period.  We prefer payment direct to our bank please: Barclays Bank, Sort Code 20 38 83, A/C 9084607402.  Please send remittance notice to REAP.  Terms 30 days from receipt of invoice.  We will send a reminder and may charge a late payment fee if invoices are not settled in a reasonable time.  Please don’t hesitate to phone REAP if you have questions.  If you must pay by cheque please note you can only pay by cheque for £50 or more because of bank charges.  Please make cheques payable to Refugees in Effective and Active Partnerships.  Please give our invoice number as reference.

Grievance, Complaints and Commendations

Client organisations or interpreters can give feedback via timesheets, directly to the REAP team or when contacted by the REAP team for M&E.  REAP will NOT contact your service users.  Please make more serious complaints or concerns verbally or in writing to Sarah Crowther, REAP Director: if not appropriate or available, send complaint to Oleg Pasichnyi, REAP Chair, in a sealed envelope marked ‘private and confidential’ via REAP office.

REAP, Key House, 106 High Street, Yiewsley MIDDX  UB7 7BQ

01895 441530   interpreting@reap.org.uk  REAP mobile  07983 419388

Connectors and Interpreters’ bookings and training : Rachaporn

Interpreters’, Speakers, Connectors, GREG English Leaders and other project development : Sarah Crowther

Director : Sarah Crowther