Category Archives: Freelance working

What is happening to self-employment in the UK

The tl;dr answer is that it’s too early to tell. As mentioned previously here, there’s a lot of job-switching going on, and there is a generally tight labour market in the UK (and globally, though the UK has the added spice … Continue reading

Posted in Economics, Employment, EU & Brexit, Freelance working, Pay & inflation | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Self employed workers using their own home as a workplace

This is an issue where I’d normally point members to Tax for Freelancers (the Bectu tax guide) but I do find that TaxAid often explains things very well – here’s their account of this issue.

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How often do Freelancers need to opt out of the pension scheme with a regular employer?

This is another of those posts that we would urge you to act upon only after having read the footnote (below). We are periodically contacted by members who work multiple short contracts for the same engager (e.g. a national broadcaster) … Continue reading

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Eva Wiseman in The Observer

I thought I’d posted this earlier in the week but it seems I missed it. There’s a very good round-up of the many issues facing people working in film and TV from Eva Wiseman in The Observer. It draws heavily upon … Continue reading

Posted in Bectu Agreements, Bullying and Harassment, Equality, Freelance working, Health & Safety, Long hours, Major Motion Picture Agreement, Management, Mental Health, Safe working practices, Trades Unions, TV Drama Agreement, Wellbeing, Work-life balance, Workplace conflict | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Negotiating expenses for working in London (a guide for non-Londoners)

If (for example) you are based in Glasgow but you are asked to spend time working in London, what % uplift should you ask employers for when negotiating expenses? There’s a website called Numbeo that tracks and compares the cost … Continue reading

Posted in Economics, Freelance working, Housing costs, Inflation, Remote working | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

13,000 SEISS and CJRS investigations launched (so far)

Looking through my back-issues of Farmer’s Weekly, there was a claim that… “…HMRC was allocated £100m of funding in the last Budget for investigations and the recouping of a suspected £3.5bn in fraudulent Covid-19 support scheme claims.” In late June, … Continue reading

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BECTU declares ‘biggest push’ in its history to improve freelancers’ rights

If you don’t want it from the horse’s mouth, you can get it from The Stage [£]. “BECTU has launched a new branch for theatre freelancers, which it says is the biggest push in the union’s history to improve the … Continue reading

Posted in Freelance working, Freelancer rights, Organising Skills, Recruitment and organising, Theatre and Live Events data | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Bectu BBC freelancer survey

If you are a freelancer working on BBC productions, we want to hear from you about your priorities for improving your workplace! Fill out our quick survey on this link and make sure to share it with your colleagues: https://t.co/2JtkAVNhQO … Continue reading

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IPSE on the Dividend Tax and NIC increases

Some light weekend reading for you: IPSE have a post up outlining how the NIC increases to pay for social care will impact freelancers, along with a view that the changes to Dividend Tax means that “Government is making it … Continue reading

Posted in Freelance working, Freelancer rights, IR35, National Insurance Contributions (NICs), Personal Service Companies, Tax | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Locked Down and Locked Out – impact of Covid pandemic on mothers working in UK TV sector

49% of respondents said they had been unable to accept work due to childcare related issues. Read the #LockedDownAndLockedOut report now on the impact of the pandemic on mothers in UK TV: https://t.co/37JAX9Djjz pic.twitter.com/JYKKUwZdK4 — Bectu (@bectu) September 9, 2021 … Continue reading

Posted in Coronavirus, Coronavirus, Equality, Film & TV industry policy, Freelance working, Freelancer rights, Gender equality, Health & Safety, Long hours, Management, Mental Health, Remote working, Wellbeing, Work-life balance | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Freelancers – ‘the canary in the coalmine’

From earlier this year, a useful roundup from The Creative Industries Policy and Evidence Centre (NESTA) of the policy issues governments need to bear in mind when thinking about creative freelancers. Their understanding of Creative Freelancers is as follows: The … Continue reading

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At what earnings-level are you better off trading as a Limited Company?

I sent a link to the long-read post on The Contingent Production Army to Kenne Sykes of Blue Skies Partnership (always a helpful source of advice for myself and my predecessor Tony Lennon). The article included this observation: “Examples the … Continue reading

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Post-lockdown mental health concerns among theatre workers

From The Stage [£]: “Half of backstage workers are considering leaving their career and more than two thirds do not think that employers have put adequate mental health support in place for their post-Covid return to work, according to a … Continue reading

Posted in Bullying and Harassment, Disability equality, Freelance working, Gig economy workers, Health & Safety, Illness and disability, Management, Mental Health, Theatre and Live Events data, Wellbeing, Workplace conflict | Tagged | Leave a comment

Coalition for Change – Freelance Charter

The launch of this at The Edinburgh TV Festival today has received coverage from Variety, Broadcast and Televisual among others. It can be downloaded from the Variety website here [pdf].

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The Freelance Deal: 1. Employment Rights, Tax and Pensions

This is the first draft of the policy document that has been agreed by the Tax, Employment Rights and Pensions Working Group of London Production Division (LPD) on the 7th May 2020. It is a contribution to Bectu’s proposed ‘New … Continue reading

Posted in Employment Contracts, Employment Law and Rights, Employment status, Freelance working, Freelancer rights, Gig economy workers, IR35, Long hours, Management, Pensions, Personal Service Companies, Skills & capacity, Tax, Welfare and benefits, Wellbeing, Work-life balance | Tagged | Leave a comment

Making Tax Digital – quarterly tax filings from April 2023?

Government plans for Making Tax Digital – a programme that will require about 4.3m self-employed people and small businesses to keep digital records and report their income to HM Revenue & Customs every quarter from April 2023 – are facing … Continue reading

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Construction Industry Scheme (tax for the self-employed working in construction)

Plainly the Construction Industry Scheme doesn’t apply to too many Bectu members (I’d need to get advice on how it could apply to people in set construction by my early guess is that it wouldn’t), but we need to know … Continue reading

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Freelancers’ right to covid-protective clothing

I’m sharing, word-for-word, an email I’ve received from the TUC. I’m posting it here in case any members who are freelancers, have been asked to provide their own PPE, and have felt that – as a result – they have … Continue reading

Posted in Coronavirus, Coronavirus, Employment Law and Rights, Employment status, Freelance working, Freelancer rights, Gig economy workers | Tagged | Leave a comment

Umbrella Companies and employment rights

There have been a number of posts on this site already about Umbrella Companies, but I’ve had an enquiry about employment rights for people engaged through such a company. The Low Incomes Tax Reform Group has published a useful briefing … Continue reading

Posted in Employment status, Freelance working, Freelancer rights, Gig economy workers, IR35, Tax | Tagged | Leave a comment

Applying for a Lorimer Letter (LP10)

This is another one of those posts that are intended only as a general outline of the subjects covered. It shouldn’t be regarded as comprehensive nor sufficient for making decisions, and it should not be used in place of professional … Continue reading

Posted in ESM4118, Freelance working, IR35 | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Remuneration committees establishing company cultures

The CIPD has published a report in association with The High Pay Centre, who are… “…an independent, non-partisan think tank focused on the causes and consequences of economic inequality, with a particular interest in top pay. We run a programme … Continue reading

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Ban Umbrella Companies?

The TUC is calling for a ban on Umbrella Companies [pdf]. The document under that link also outlines what they define as an Umbrella Company – I’ll be reading this in some detail as I think there may be some … Continue reading

Posted in Employment Contracts, Employment intermediaries, Employment Law and Rights, Freelance working, Freelancer rights, Personal Service Companies | Tagged | Leave a comment

Employers minimum-wage shame list and how it affects freelancers

From an HMG press release earlier today: Today (Thursday 5 August) 191 businesses are being named for breaking the national minimum wage law. Following investigations by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs, a total of £2.1 million was found to be … Continue reading

Posted in Employment Law and Rights, Freelancer rights, Low pay, Minimum wage rates, Pay & inflation, Wages and Pay-rates | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Crib sheet from the RSA on employment statuses

You can download this here [pdf]

Posted in Employment Law and Rights, Employment status, Freelance working, Freelancer rights, Gig economy workers | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Self employed landscape ‘diminished’

IPSE research at the end of 2020 showed that there had been the first significant drop-off in self-employment in a decade with the number of solo self-employed in the UK falling by 5% compared to the previous year. Previously, this … Continue reading

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Expenses and tax relating to travelling to work

Further to the detailed post about expenses for the self-employed, we often get asked about what the law on tax and earnings is for your travel to and from a place of work. If you are employed by a company, … Continue reading

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5 Ways to Recognise Employee Burnout

From the Bectu website… ICYMI workers in the creative industries are highly susceptible to burnout due to precarious working and long hours culture. In a #ThursdayThoughts blog, Meghan Taylor from the Writers Guild shares '5 Ways to Recognise Employee Burnout' … Continue reading

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How expenses work for the employed and self-employed

There’s a good rule of thumb that applies both to Employees and the Self Employed: You are expected to pay for a meal out of your own pocket if you are working from home, or if you are at a … Continue reading

Posted in Employment Law and Rights, Equipment and kit, Freelance working, Tax | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

National Insurance Contributions to rise?

This story is a few weeks old now, but today I’ve been reminded of just how much the balance between NIC and taxes changes the dynamics in those big decisions that people make when deciding to be a freelancer or … Continue reading

Posted in Freelance working, National Insurance Contributions (NICs), Personal Service Companies, Tax | Leave a comment

Labour proposes the creation of a single ‘worker’ status

New #ukemplaw bulletin – Labour announces policy to create a single status of ‘worker’ – https://t.co/naWdwwJ1AE — Daniel Barnett (@daniel_barnett) July 26, 2021 Keir Starmer outlines this on LabourList – here. The party has been briefing that the aim here … Continue reading

Posted in Employment Law and Rights, Employment status, Family rights, Freelancer rights, Labour Party, Minimum wage rates | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Useful correction on welfare entitlements for people who are self-isolating

At #PMQs, Boris Johnson suggested that everybody who's isolating due to Covid is entitled to the equivalent of living wage while they isolate. This isn't true. What they are entitled to 👇https://t.co/wsnSjvzqYg — Full Fact (@FullFact) July 22, 2021

Posted in CJRS & SEISS, Coronavirus, Freelance working, Welfare and benefits | Tagged | Leave a comment

Working hours v family

A nice working hours v family [pdf] Graphic idea from the SFX branch.

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Supervision Direction and Control (another IR35 post)

There are a few posts on this site about the CEST test, for determining who is included within IR35 (i.e. who is an employee and who isn’t), and it would be wrong to do anything but to acknowledge that HMRC … Continue reading

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The Creative Workforce Pledge

The Creative Workforce Pledge was a campaign to target candidates who were standing to be Metro Mayors in May 2021, to call on them to “stand up for the creative workforce, to nurture local talent and invest in culture for … Continue reading

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