Hourly contracts include two types of payments to freelancers:

  • Payment you make for the hours recorded in your freelancer’s Work Diary
  • Manual payments or bonuses (optional and must be approved by you)

Standard hourly billing and disputes


Your freelancer will log hours in their Work Diary, and:

  • Every Monday, we’ll invoice you for the previous week's hours based on your freelancer’s Work Diary
  • You'll be charged automatically for the balance due
  • You’ll have from Monday at noon UTC until Friday at midnight UTC to review your freelancer’s hours
  • If you need to file a dispute, you must do so before Friday of the week you received the invoice

Note:

All times are based on UTC so that payments and reports are consistent.

Review time


You can view your freelancer’s time by looking at the freelancer’s timesheet and Work Diary, which is a visual record of their time and work:

  1. Go to Jobs > All Contracts
  2. Select the contract you want to view
  3. Choose the Timesheet tab

You’ll see a summary of the freelancer’s time entered in the Timesheet tab. You can view their Work Diary to see screenshots and work activity for the time they logged in the Time Tracker, and you can customize the dates that you want to view.

You can only view the freelancer’s time and work — you cannot add, delete, or edit time. If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to your freelancer.

You can also dispute time if the freelancer logged hours that were not related to your job.

Pro tip:

Team members with "Hiring - Full" or "View Work Diaries" permissions can see freelancer timesheets and access Work Diaries from the Weekly Billing Summary.

Missing time


There may be times when your freelancer needs to be paid for time that was not captured in their Work Diary. This could happen for several reasons, including:

  • An interruption in the freelancer’s internet connection interfered with hours loading from the Time Tracker. Time Tracker is designed to store hours in a cache and upload them to Upwork when the internet becomes available, but technical difficulties can happen
  • Your freelancer forgot to log in or manually enter some of the hours that they worked
  • Your freelancer thought Time Tracker was on, but because they were doing work that was not generating computer activity, Time Tracker shut off and did not log time
  • The freelancer needed to enter manual time, and someone from your company has disabled manual time entry on the contract

If manual time has been disabled and you need to re-enable it, go to Jobs All Contracts and select your contract. In the Details of your contract workroom, choose Manual Time.

If you need to pay your freelancer for time that was not logged, you can pay them using a bonus.

Note:

You cannot disable manual time on an Enterprise Compliance contract.

Paying with a bonus


You can add a manual payment to an hourly contract, separate from regular hours billed, by adding a bonus.

You can use a bonus payment to pay for time that was missing from your freelancer’s timesheet, or you may choose to give a bonus for other reasons, such as excellent work, expenses, or extra time. Note: If you have a compliance account, you should not use the bonus feature to pay for ad-hoc work that is outside the scope of the original contract.

All bonuses are processed similarly to earnings and are subject to a five-day security hold and freelancer service fee (paid by the freelancer).

To add a bonus:

  1. Go to Jobs › All Contracts to locate your freelancer or agency
  2. Select Give bonus from the (...) options menu
  3. Fill out the form. You can add a private note or details if you want
  4. Select Make Payment to send the bonus

For your convenience, the Give bonus option is also available from the options menu in your contract’s workroom.

Give a bonus from the contract workroom

Frequently Asked Questions

When does my company get invoiced and charged for hourly contracts?

We’ll invoice and charge your company every Monday for the previous week’s hours. You’ll then have until Friday to review the previous week’s timesheets and Work Diaries hours before we release payment to your freelancers. 

Can I add or edit hours in the freelancer’s timesheet or Work Diary?

No, you can only view your freelancer’s time. You cannot add, delete, or edit their time.

Am I required to pay for hours that the freelancer did not enter in their timesheet?

In short, no. But please consider your overall relationship with your freelancer and the situation. If the freelancer did the work and you benefitted, then please consider paying through the bonus option.

Am I required to pay for hours that the freelancer entered but that are not related to my job?

If your freelancer logs hours not related to your project you can file a dispute for the previous week's hours.

How do I pay a freelancer for time they worked that was not captured in Time Tracker?

You can pay them using the bonus feature. However, if you have an Enterprise Compliance contract, it is important not to use a bonus to pay for ad hoc work that goes outside the scope of your contract.

When will my talent receive the bonus I paid them?

Bonuses are processed a little differently than hourly payments. You can pay a bonus at any time during the work week, and after a 5-day security period, we will release the payment to the freelancer.

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