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Alex J.
Alex J., Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 3522
Experience:  Solicitors 2 years plus PQE
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We own a small LTD based in UK. Two partners/directors.

Resolved Question:


We own a small LTD based in UK. Two partners/directors. We produce Video News clients, with particular attention to Italy coverage, where we hire our camera-crew, on a Freelance basis.
As of latest developments, we have been deploying our crew in tense and war zones, under third party (client) commission, more and more, but still our crew is deployed from Italy (which is where they all live).
We would be very willing to provide them with a life and/or medical insurance trip abroad (out of their own country of residence) - but we seem not to be able to clarify the extent of our responsibilities towards them.
They have demanded some sort of coverage in their own country too, and independently from the quality of the environment (whether is just an ordinary day shooting mass at st peter, or one in eastern ukraine!)
i feel -as they are freelancers (not uk based nonetheless) we should not have much liability, but i would be very grateful if you could give me as much information as possible, detailing, as per our circumstances - what are our obligations towards EU based freelancers.
I remain at your disposal more info you may require.
Thank you
L
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Alex J. replied 1 year ago.
,
Thank you question and welcome.
My name is ***** ***** I will assist you.
Do you have separate freelance contracts with them? How much in monetary terms would you be willing to contribute to each persons insurance arrangements?
Kind regards
AJ
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

we do not have "contracts" with them.

regardless of the amount we can broker via an insurance provider, i need to know legally what are my responsibility with them, being that they are freelance and that they live in italy.

Thank you

Expert:  Alex J. replied 1 year ago.
,
Thank you.
They are not employees they are free lancers - you do not force them to go or participate in any travel arrangements etc - presumably you offer them the work and they decide whether to take it, on that basis your responsibility to them is only contractual - your obligation is to fulfill the requirements of your contract.
However given the risk involved i would recommend that:
- You have a contract with them detailing that they are free lance;
- You include in the contract a disclaimer that you do not guarantee or make any provision safety and they are entirely responsible own safety when providing the service to you;
-I would also include an obligation on them to obtain insurance prior to going to any dangerous destination -
Do you provide them with any contacts or due diligence in the regions they go to?
Kind regards
AJ
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

yes we do.

thus - not having any obligations due to their freelance status, the terms of our own contract would be binding in case of dispute. Is this correct?

how can i assure that the terms comply with uk and international law?

Expert:  Alex J. replied 1 year ago.
,
Thank you.
What does your contract say - is it sufficiently clear and unambiguous?
The one issue you may have is that providing them with contacts or due diligence - if any of this turns out to put them in danger then they may have a claim against you such information. I would consider putting in a disclaimer that say these contacts are for "information purposes only" and the freelancer is responsible their own due diligence before travelling to the dangerous location.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Kind regards
AJ
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

this will suffice moment - Whilst i review what we have named "affiliation agreement" - which illustrates (on general terms) the practices and terms of engagement.

However, since you kind of asked - insurance clause specifically - we do write:

In the event in which the Consultant is asked to be deployed out of the country of residence, "tense areas" or "war zones", the Company will provide the appropriate insurance policies, via third party insurance brokers.

The insurance coverage is not supplied in the Freelance country of residence.

The various options are offered only in the following eventualities: Deployment abroad (non - tense / non -war) - Medical Insurance Deployment abroad Tense - Extended Medical Insurance

Deployment abroad War Zone - Extended Life & Medical Insurance.

General terms of each policy are attached. The detailed terms and limitations of each policy could vary depending on each mission, and will be communicated to the Freelance, and stipulated pending his approval and prior to deployment .

I am not sure if i am extending my self too much here. But in reality - we are basically paying insurance made in their name, with a company brokered by Resporters Without Borders. We have no say whatsoever on the limitations, premiums, circumstantial changes etc. In fact i don't even know we are legally expected to provide insurance (generally we do not recharge the commissioning client, so it is our expense, and "responsibility" as an ltd. is it?), but that we hare happy to provide to keep them safe and incentivated.

However they seem to expect that WHATEVER happens to them, whether they trip on the street during a riot, or hit in the head by a flying bottle.. (i mean, there is an abundance of scenarios) - we should be responsible (again, legally). Which is why i would like to be as prepared as possible, also considered the internationality of these relations.

I don't meant to take more time than i am entitled to here. If i am please let me know.

many thanks

Thank you very much advise.

Expert:  Alex J. replied 1 year ago.
,
Thank you.
I am happy to continue the dialogue until you are satisfied.
The insurance clause is fine but you are basically saying that the insurance you provide is adequate- I would include a further clause that puts obligation on the freelancer to 1) Read the insurance policy and 2) as condition not do any act or omission that might invalidate the insurance cover reason.
As a matter of English law you cannot limit liability or personal injury caused by negligence - therefore you should consider the following:
1. To the extent that you undertake any of your obligations negligently and that leads to the death or injury of a freelancer - you will always be liable;
2. You should make it clear in the agreement that you are relying on their expertise to know how to stay safe in these countries and therefore you obligation to them stops once they have been insured by you and paid by you.
Kind regards
AJ
Alex J., Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 3522
Experience: Solicitors 2 years plus PQE
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