To help protect both you and those you work with on Upwork, we pause your contracts in certain situations.

One common reason we pause contracts is if there is a problem with your Upwork account. This is likely due to an issue with your billing method, such as an expired or declined credit card.

Pausing contracts prevents freelancers from logging more time on your hourly contracts. This protects you from accumulating more expenses while you’re clearing up any payment issues. It also protects freelancers from logging time that they may not be able to get paid for working.

We’ll let you and your freelancer know if we pause a contract, and we’ll let you both know when the contract resumes.

Tips on what you can do if your contract is paused

If you have a past-due balance, you can either fix the issue with your primary billing method or add a new billing method to pay your past-due balance. Once your balance has been cleared, we’ll resume your paused contracts.

If your contracts have been paused but your billing method is valid, you can contact us by using the Get Support button in the bottom-right corner of this page. We’ll take a look at your account and help you reactivate it. If it is going to take some time to resume, we recommend that you contact your freelancer(s) to let them know that we’re working on a resolution.


If your contract is paused due to payment issues on Upwork, don’t ask the freelancer to work for you outside of Upwork instead of resolving the issue. This is called circumvention, which significantly increases the risk of fraud and is a violation of the Upwork Terms of Service. If your freelancer asks you to continue working on a paused contract and asks you to pay them outside of Upwork, in most cases you should decline and report it to us (by using the Get Support button in the bottom-right corner of this page). Please note that this does not apply if you and your freelancer have agreed to leave Upwork and you have paid the appropriate Upwork Conversion Fee to do so, or if the circumvention rules don’t apply to you and your client. Learn more about circumvention rules here.

Pausing your own contract

You can also pause contracts yourself any time you want to put them on hold. This prevents freelancers from logging time on hourly contracts until you are ready to start working on the project again. A best practice is to also message your freelancer and let them know why you’re pausing the contract and when you anticipate restarting the contract, so that they can plan to continue working with you in the future. Learn more about putting an hourly contract on hold here.

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