Paying people protocol
This protocol is under review, and has not been accepted.
We are currently gathering feedback and editing this protocol, and there may be errors or bad wording. Please only use this protocol with caution, and if other organisations have definitive protocol, use that instead.
Please see #protocols on Slack to discuss this protocol further.
This is the protocol for paying people. This is payment as it currently works in QueerCare.
QueerCare is looking to move to paying people on a weekly basis. When this change happens, this protocol will be updated.
When to Pay People
QueerCare pays people for the labour of:
- Care and advocacy work done as QC or to QC protocol. Importantly:
- Care work done for people you are romantically or sexually involved with, or live with, is not work within QC
- Care work done without a buddy in QC in regular contact with you, is not work within QC
- Mental health first response done based on QC protocol or training
- Admin work done for QC, such as work on protocol or finance.
- Other internal or external work done for QC, such as logistics or running a training.
QueerCare does not currently pay people for the labour of Protest First Aid. This is something that is being actively discussed by the people who do this work. As with all other kinds of work, peolple doing Protest First Aid are strongly enocuraged to claim full expenses (Claiming Expenses Protocol).
QueerCare must pay people for their labour if the costs of paying people averaged over the previous three months are less than current cash reserves (which is to say, can expect to be able to pay people for three months).
QueerCare can pay people for their labour if the costs of paying people averaged over the previous three months and divided by three are less than current cash reserves (which is to say, can expect to be able to pay people for one month).
How Often People are Paid
Currently, people are paid on a monthly basis at the start of each month, after they have invoiced for the hours they worked over the previous month. QC is looking to move to paying people on a weekly basis, using the same model.
Wages and Legal Framework
The hourly wage for work with QC is the living wage for each person's area as determined by the Living Wage Foundation, multiplied by 1.25 and rounded to the nearest penny. Everyone is paid the same hourly rate. This is currently £13.34 p/h for people working in London, and £11.63 p/h for people outside of London.
Currently, people paid by QC are employed as freelancers. This means they must sort out their own tax and National Insurance contributions (NICs). QC and people within QC should help them do this.
QC hopes to change this soon, and create a fully unionised workforce.
How to Claim Payment
When you are doing QC work, please try to roughly keep track of the hours you have worked. This will help you make sure you claim for all the work you have done.
At the start of each month a message should be posted in #general-announcements reminding people to file an invoice for the hours they worked over the previous month.
To invoice, send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org including (at least) the following information:
- The date of the invoice
- An invoice number (can be arbitrary, should differ from invoice to invoice)
- Your preferred payment method between PayPal and BACS, and any details needed for that (BACS currently takes longer as only one person in the organisation can do BACS right now)
- Your address
- A brief, clear description of the work you did
- The number of hours you worked for QC this month
- The total amount of money being claimed (which should be the above number multiplied by the wage)
- Whether you would like to be reminded via e-mail to make your next invoice
Please see Invoice Email Template for a template for this.
If you would like to be paid at a different time (eg. weekly, or earlier or later on a given month) this is fine and you should message Ada or Alex on Slack or on Signal to sort this.
Paying People Aged Under 18
13, 14 and 15
People aged 13, 14 and 15 must work within these legal requirements. For work that is done 'from home' and within these requirements, people aged 13, 14 and 15 can be paid as over 16s/18s are. However this does not extend to work done 'outside the home'.
If you are aged 13, 14 or 15 and do QC work 'outside the home' or outside of restricted hours & conditions it cannot be waged, but you must claim full expenses for this work.
People aged 13, 14 and 15 should not work in a way that is detrimental to their education or health and should talk to someone in QC/QCYF (such as the QCYF General Meeting, see Internal Support in QCYF Protocol) if this is a problem.
16 and 17
Please note there are differences for people who are in full-time education/training and people who are in part-time education/training.
People aged 16 and 17 who do QC work within these restrictions will be paid as over 18s are.
If you are 16 or 17 and do QC work outside of restricted hours and conditions this work cannot be waged but you must claim full expenses for this work.
You should not work in a way that is detrimental to your education or health and should talk to someone in QC/QCYF (such as the QCYF General Meeting, see Internal Support in QCYF Protocol) if this is a problem.
What to do after Paying People
People handling finance should post the current amount in the bank account in the finance and fundraising chat.
Principles, Sources and Reasoning
QueerCare pays people for political and practical reasons. The practical reasons for paying people are:
- Demanding large amounts of unpaid labour results in only financially privileged people being able to do the work of supporting people with some level of sustainability, and produces organisations which do not support those who most need support and which exacerbate burnout amongst those who are most oppressed and precarious.
- People being paid by third parties stops them being dependent on people they care for, discouraging extortion.
- Historically, support work in queer communities results in bunrout and bad care, because people cannot support themselves while doing it.
The political reasons for paying people are:
- Recognising the massive amounts of unpaid labour that go into trans communities which are not recognised by capital.
The reasoning behind relativity high (for "unskilled" wages, though low by other standards 'on theLeft' - London Renters Union pays approximately 150% of London living wage) are to enable people to live a survivable existence: a "living wage" while working four days a week, allowing more time for rest and recuperation, as well as work on other interests.
The reasoning for a flat wage is that it is assumed effort put in per hour per worker is the same, and as such should be compensated at the same rate. It is also worth noting that affective skills and feminised labour is historically undervalued in the labour market, and attempts to pay more for more "skilled" work will discriminate against against undervalued skillsets.
QueerCare is aiming to move to one week payment periods. The reasoning behind this is that that many queer people live hand to mouth and waiting a month can mean that people are unable to support themselves whilst doing the work of supporting others.