Another story from a Capita interpreter throwing some light on what's going on behind the interpreting contract
Linguist Lounge has received a story from a Capita interpreter who reported accepting a job offer this month which was never followed by a confirmation. The day before the court hearing the interpreter contacted Capita to request the confirmation only to be told by the booking assistant that they were cancelling the job because she could not get the travel expenses authorised.
I clarified it with the interpreter whether the issue was about additional expenses and not those as per the standard terms and conditions for all linguists. We have been hearing stories that some linguists still manage to negotiate better deals with full travelling time paid etc. Interestingly, Capita also removed any references to their standard rates of pay from the Capita Linguist Portal unless you log in to the site. Whether this was to avoid potential issues when various people are paid differently or to avoid deterring future applicants from registering due to unattractive rates of pay, it’s for anyone to make an intelligent guess.
The interpreter told me that the expenses in question were those which would cover the train fare and parking at the station. Clearly the Incidentals payment and door-to-door mileage rates introduced this May are not sufficient to cover this.
Does this mean that more and more assignments will be cancelled or not authorised if they are not financially viable for Capita? Quite possibly. We know that for every failure to fulfil an assignment Capita only gets penalised by a service credit equal to 10% of an hourly fee, i.e. £3.10 per job at the rates prior to May 2013. (Please see Section 27 of this document). Applying service credits is so much cheaper than getting additional expenses for linguists paid out of Capita’s pocket.
Why didn’t Capita let the interpreter know in good time they would not be authorising her expenses but instead inconveniencing the linguist and the court by giving court staff so little time to reorganise, especially when there was an interpreter ready and willing to do the work? Again, it’s for anyone to make an intelligent guess about what is really going on behind the scenes of this badly managed contract.