Hourly Contracts at Upwork can include three types of payments: standard hourly billing based on a freelancer's Work Diary, manual payments or bonuses, and additional recurring weekly payments.
Standard hourly billing and disputes
Standard hourly billing is logged via your freelancers' Work Diaries. You'll receive one invoice each week for your hourly contracts on Upwork.
- Every Monday, you'll be invoiced for the previous week's hours based on your freelancers' Work Diaries.
- Your default billing method will be charged automatically for the balance due.
- If you need to file a dispute, you must do so by Friday of that week.
Learn more about the timing of the billing cycle here.
Add a manual payment or bonus
You can choose to add a manual payment to any hourly contract, separate from regular hours billed.
This is where you’ll locate your freelancer.
You’ll find it in the (…) options menu.
You can choose to add a private note and further details. Choose Make Payment to send a manual bonus to your freelancer.
A "bonus" could be a performance bonus, reimbursement for expenses, milestone completed, or compensation for time over the freelancer's weekly limit. These are all processed the same way and subject to the same five-day security period and service fee on the freelancer's end.
Set additional recurring payment (Weekly Payment)
When you make an offer, you can specify an additional recurring Weekly Payment amount, to be added to your invoice each Monday on top of the hours billed from your freelancer's Work Diary. You'll set a custom payment amount in the Advanced Options on the offer form.
NOTESetting a Weekly Payment in the Advanced Options section means you are paying your freelancer an additional amount each week. This payment is on top of standard hourly billing based on your freelancers' Work Diaries.
The only way to use recurring weekly payments as the sole billing method for a contract is to set the hourly limit for a freelancer's Work Diary to zero. If you only want to pay for the hours your freelancer logged at the rate you set, do not complete the Advanced Option section to include a Weekly Payment.
Weekly payments are subject to some unique terms.
- Additional recurring weekly payment can only be set as part of your contract offer. To make changes you must end the current contract, rehire your freelancer, and set different terms in the Advanced Options.
- If a contract is paused, disputed, or suspended for any period of time in the week, the corresponding weekly payment will not be issued. You may make a manual payment to the freelancer for any work completed.
- When the contract begins, we invoice a percentage of the total weekly amount based on the day the contract began:
- Monday – 100%
- Tuesday – 80%
- Wednesday – 60%
- Thursday - 40%
- Friday - 20%
- Saturday, Sunday – 0%
- When the contract ends, we invoice a percentage of the total weekly amount based on the day the contract ends:
- Monday – 20%
- Tuesday – 40%
- Wednesday – 60%
- Thursday - 80%
- Friday, Saturday, Sunday – 100%