Category Archives: Freelancer rights

Why people risk insecure work

An interesting report from The Work Foundation (via Lancaster University) has just landed. Published in partnership with Unison, it looks at the choices and experiences of those in insecure work, and the kinds of interventions that could support them into … Continue reading

Posted in Economics, Employment, Freelance working, Freelancer rights, Gig economy workers, Productivity, Welfare and benefits, Wellbeing | Tagged , | Comments Off on Why people risk insecure work

Freelancers and the welfare system

This site has carried plenty of posts about freelancing and employment status, tax status, their pension status, and it probably needs a bit more on the generality of freelancing. We often debate whether ‘freelancer’ is even a thing. It doesn’t … Continue reading

Posted in Employment Law and Rights, Employment status, Equipment and kit, Freelance working, Freelancer rights, Gig economy workers, IR35, Management, Personal Service Companies, Productivity, Skills & capacity, Tax, Universal Credit, Welfare and benefits, Wellbeing, Work-life balance | Tagged , , | Comments Off on Freelancers and the welfare system

March Budget 2023 with added inflation catch-up.

Firstly, everything that was said in last week’s budget needs to be placed in some context. It seems that British economic analysts seem to have completely lost the ability to forecast inflation – a problem that may make a nonsense … Continue reading

Posted in Economics, Freelance working, Freelancer rights, Inflation, Pay & inflation, Personal Service Companies | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Unexpected rise in self-assessed tax receipts

Public sector finances are looking unexpectedly rosy following better-than-expected tax receipts. As the FT reports… “Jeremy Hunt has received an unexpected £30bn windfall in the public finances ahead of his March Budget, giving the chancellor scope to provide extra support … Continue reading

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

‘Don’t discuss your pay’ clauses

Have an employer told you that you can’t discuss your pay with anyone? Or that you cannot show anyone your offer of work, or contact? Many contracts in the entertainment industry contain clauses that aim to keep the information regarding … Continue reading

Posted in Employment Contracts, Employment Law and Rights, Equality, Freelance working, Freelancer rights, Gender equality, Gender pay, Wages and Pay-rates | Tagged | Leave a comment

The “freelancers can’t be safety reps” thing that people keep saying.

For some years, I’ve been told that “freelancers can’t be safety reps”. I knew it was shorthand for a more detailed explanation, but I finally got around to finding out what it meant in practice. I asked Chris Warburton, Prospect’s … Continue reading

Posted in Employment Law and Rights, Freelance working, Freelancer rights, Gig economy workers, Health & Safety, Trades Unions | Tagged | Leave a comment

The Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Bill – unions concerns

I’m sure that you’ve picked up some commentary about “The Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Bill”, which was introduced to Parliament on 22 September 2022. This is a key element of the UK Government’s post-Brexit agenda and affects a … Continue reading

Posted in Employment Contracts, Employment intermediaries, Employment Law and Rights, Employment status, Equality, EU & Brexit, Freelancer rights, Gender equality, Gender pay, Gig economy workers, Health & Safety, Illness and disability, Long hours, Safe working practices, Safe working standards, Welfare and benefits | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Government response to Employment Status Review

The government has now responded to the results of their 2018 consultation on Employment Statuses. (The full response can be seen in this document – pdf). The Tl;dr version of it is (paraphrasing very liberally) “people who don’t like the … Continue reading

Posted in CJRS & SEISS, Employment Law and Rights, Employment status, Freelance working, Freelancer rights, Gig economy workers, IR35, Tax | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Freelancers and their parental rights

I’ve had a request to write a briefing on UK parental rights for freelancers on my to-do list for a while, so I was very pleased to discover the website of Maternity Action which seems to answer most of the … Continue reading

Posted in Employment Law and Rights, Family rights, Freelance working, Freelancer rights, Gender equality, Welfare and benefits, Wellbeing, Work-life balance | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Individual liability for safety breaches

There’s an interesting article here on Safety and Health Practitioner about a trend towards assigning liability for breaches to individuals instead of companies. “Whilst any potential breach by a business is likely to be associated with failings on the part … Continue reading

Posted in Freelance working, Freelancer rights, Gig economy workers, Health & Safety, Safe working practices, Safe working standards | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Useful bookmarks on freelance employment and tax policies

Here’s something written by Alan Lockey for Demos – “Free Radicals – Britain’s self-employed millions urgently need a new deal…” [pdf], and an IPSE’s 2017 ‘tax manifesto’ paper on “A Fairer, More Efficient Tax System” [pdf] (h/t Martin McIvor)

Posted in Freelance working, Freelancer rights, Gig economy workers, IR35, Personal Service Companies, Tax, Welfare and benefits | Tagged , | Leave a comment

The Flexibility Paradox

The TUC and Working Families are hosting a launch for a book called The Flexibility Paradox by Dr Heejung Chung on Wednesday 20 April at 1400. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, flexible working has become the norm for many workers. But … Continue reading

Posted in Freelancer rights, Gender equality, Remote working, The working environment, Work-life balance | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Freelancers Make Theatre Work

Freelancers Make Theatre Work is an organisation that came into being in 2020. They did their first freelance survey in June of that year called The Big Freelancer Survey. At the time, 9000 freelancers signed up to their platform, and … Continue reading

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

What to do if you want to be enroled on an employer pension scheme from day one (and the employer says “no”)

Freelancers – and anyone who works short contracts of employment – may find that they lose a lot by not being auto-enrolled in pension schemes from day one. If an employer refuses your request to be put onto the auto-enrolment … Continue reading

Posted in Freelance working, Freelancer rights, Pensions | Tagged | Leave a comment

Bectu Mental Health and Welbeing Policy published

This was an idea that came from Bectu members during the pandemic. We did a load of online sessions discussing different aspects of the question “what is wrong with ‘the freelance deal’?” and there was a repeated refrain saying “our … Continue reading

Posted in Feature film data, Film & TV industry data, Film & TV industry policy, Freelance working, Freelancer rights, Health & Safety, High End TV data, Long hours, Management, Mental Health, Safe working practices, Safe working standards, Wellbeing, Work-life balance | Tagged | Leave a comment

Even more on Adrian Chiles – IBOYOA

Last week, reading about Adrian Chiles judgement, there was one thing that I read, and thought that the report had managed a bit, so i passed it over. It was something about Adrian Chiles being ‘part and parcel’ of his … Continue reading

Posted in Freelance working, Freelancer rights, IR35, Personal Service Companies, Tax | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Some holiday pay legal rulings

A few bookmarks here on claims for unpaid holiday pay. Firstly, here’s Mr G Smith v Pimlico Plumbers Ltd. Then there’s King v Sash Windows. The Smith/Pimlico Plumbers judgment makes clear that workers who have taken leave but have not … Continue reading

Posted in Freelance working, Freelancer rights | Tagged | Leave a comment

Atypical workers – employment status, tax status, modus operandi – some links

I’m preparing a talk on freelance contracts, and I find that looking at the way different organisations explain things is useful for a number of reasons. Firstly, their emphasis may give some insight into how they regard the issue differently … Continue reading

Posted in Freelance working, Freelancer rights, IR35, Personal Service Companies, Tax | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Flexible savings trials to bridge the freelance pensions gap

I’m going to simply cut-and-paste from the press release from Nest Insight here as I think it says everything that needs explaining well enough: Nest Insight has launched two new pilots to trial flexible savings systems that are designed to … Continue reading

Posted in Freelance working, Freelancer rights, Pensions | Tagged , | Leave a comment

“… the self-employed remain something of an inconvenient afterthought”

There’s a useful post here from Paul Johnson of the Institute of Fiscal Studies highlighting a number of factors that leads to the conclusion that our ecoomy and employment / tax / benefits framework has been designed around an economy … Continue reading

Posted in CJRS & SEISS, Coronavirus, Economics, Employment Law and Rights, Employment status, Freelance working, Freelancer rights, Gig economy workers, Management, Personal Service Companies, Productivity, Welfare and benefits | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Why ‘the freelance deal’ is a big deal – and not just for the workers concerned.

There’s a long read on this site about the ‘contingent production army’ that manages large parts of the entertainment industry. Thinking about this issue, and processing it has allowed me to get a clearer idea of what our grievances are … Continue reading

Posted in Bullying and Harassment, Disability equality, Employment, Employment Law and Rights, Employment status, Equality, Freelance working, Freelancer rights, Gender equality, Gig economy workers, Health & Safety, IR35, Long hours, Management, Mental Health, National Insurance Contributions (NICs), Occupational Health, Personal Service Companies, Productivity, Race equality, Tax, Theatre and Live Events data | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Being an employee v being a freelancer

A bit of fun here…. I had a few conversations with members about IR35 and the whole ’employee v self-employment’ question. I wrote a few things down and then thought this was a useful way of outlining the discussion between … Continue reading

Posted in Freelance working, Freelancer rights, IR35, Personal Service Companies, Tax | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Freelance pensions – low take-up, postponement, and the earnings trigger

Stuart Mott has a post up on the Prospect Blog about the problems around Freelance pensions, addressing the alarmingly low take-up among members and answering a few questions about how the law on auto-enrollment is applied to freelancers. It’s well … Continue reading

Posted in Freelance working, Freelancer rights, Pensions | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in Freelance working, Freelancer rights, Pensions | Tagged , | Leave a comment

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

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

Posted in Economics, Employment, Freelance working, Freelancer rights, Management, Productivity | Tagged , | Leave a comment

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

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

Posted in Freelance working, Freelancer rights, IR35, Tax | Tagged | Leave a comment

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

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