NUJ welcomes changes to BBC freelance contracts
7 November 2012
The announcement that the BBC is to review freelance contracts, ultimately moving many workers to staff status has been largely welcomed by the NUJ.
The corporation's announcement follows a report by consultants Deloitte. The BBC had been put under pressure when it was revealed that some members of staff were being paid through personal service companies. It was alleged that this allowed preferential tax rates. However, Deloitte found little evidence that the BBC was encouraging these arrangements and that its tax compliance standards were on the whole found to be good.
The BBC has now decided to do a wholesale review of freelance contracts which will result in moving many to employed status. The corporation will end staff being employed through service companies. Present contracts will be honoured and the change will be made when they have run their course.
Sue Harris, NUJ broadcasting national organiser, said:
"The NUJ broadly welcomes this change as it will mean more people being given employed status and the extra rights that come with it. The new arrangements will however disadvantage a number of our members and we will be able to assist and advise on a personal basis. It will also regularise a situation where colleagues working on the same programme could find themselves being employed on a range of different contracts."
For more details, see: Inside the BBC: Review of BBC Freelancer Engagement Model