Official Tour Guides of Britain
Collective Agreement of Official Tour Guides
Morning tours are expected to finish by 13:00 and afternoon guidances start at 13:30.
Central London is normally regarded as being within Zone 1 as defined by Transport for London. If travel back to Zone 1 is necessary at the completion of a tour, then the guide may need sufficient time to return to Zone 1 at the end of the tour or have to regard the tour as a whole day booking.
The fees negotiated will vary from client to client and from guide to guide. Higher rates may be requested for example maybe above the ranges suggested, for customised tours, or tours that require a good deal of preparation or specialist knowledge, due to a client’s or tour operator’s specific requirements.
Clients should expect to pay the same level of daily remuneration for extended tours as for single days which require a maximum of 9 hours a day guiding. Extra amounts will normally be charged if the hours of work exceed 9 hours a day. Guides will normally expect to be provided with all meals, or alternatively with suitable expenses in lieu over and above the daily fee. They are also entitled to expect that suitable overnight accommodation, in a single room, will be provided or the costs of obtaining such a room will be reimbursed.
Specialist Museum/Gallery Guiding Services
Where guides undertake specialist half-day museum or gallery visits it is usual for a full-day fee to be payable.
It is the norm within the travel industry that if an engagement is cancelled by a client 7 days or less before the tour is scheduled that 50% of the negotiated fee is payable. If the tour is cancelled within 48 hours of the scheduled start then the full fee is payable. These rates apply equally to the guide when a guide has to cancel and a suitable replacement guide cannot be provided.
Similarly, when an extended tour is cancelled with less than one month’s notice, the guide is entitled to claim 50% of the daily touring rate if alternative work on the same dates is not offered.
Additional increments of 50% may be requested for tours involving Double Decker Coaches and for coaches with more than 55 passengers. In the interests of safety, a single guide should not be expected to conduct visits to sites if the group to be guided exceeds 50, in such cases, a 2nd Guide should be engaged.
Often individual sites will restrict the number of visitors they permit to enter their premises in a group, similarly, some sites impose restrictions on where guides may talk to clients. If the proposed programme is fully discussed in advance with the guide concerned they should be able to provide advice on where such restrictions may be an issue requiring additional guides or alternative solutions.
Guides will normally charge a 50% increment for tours taking place on the English public holidays of Good Friday, Easter Sunday, Easter Monday, Boxing Day, and New Year’s Day. Tours taking place on Christmas Day usually attract an increment of 100%.
All vouchers, or cash, to cover all disbursements the guide is required to make during the tour should be provided to the guide before the start of the tour by the tour operator.
Travelling expenses (including parking fees etc.) incurred by the Guide required to collect groups from airports and locations outside London (i.e. outside Zones 1 or 2 of Transport for London’s network) should be covered by the client. In the interests of their personal safety, if guides are required to be in place to start a tour at very early times / finish late (e.g. outside of 07:00 AM or after 23:00) and travel by public transport is not suitable, guides will expect to be reimbursed the cost of taxi fares.
On a coach tour there must be a seat provided for the guide, with a safety belt, and a working microphone and PA system. If there is no working microphone / PA system provided, the operator will be informed as soon as possible by the Guide. If the tour continues without a working microphone the norms for the industry indicate the guide is entitled to be paid an increment of 100% of the original fee until the omission is rectified.
Properly presented invoices should be submitted by the Guide, to the client, at the conclusion of each engagement. Invoices should separate fees from claims for disbursements, which must be properly itemised and have receipts attached where appropriate. Full settlement is usually expected within 28 days of the invoice being submitted. From time to time, guides may agree on additional Terms & Conditions with clients.