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Some BBC freelancers bound for payroll in the near future

According to the BBC Trust’s chairman, more than a few freelancers regularly employed by the broadcaster will be transitioning to payroll sometime in the future.

Lord Pattern gave a speech at the Broadcasting Press Guild recently, confirming the move while also coming out in support of the practice of using personal service companies. However, the BBC Trust chairman did say he had high hopes that the broadcaster’s actions will lead to other firms following in their footsteps in transitioning some freelancers to employee status.

In addition to the news that the Beeb will be moving freelancers into payroll, it will also begin an independent review into the methods it has been paying its workforce, according to a spokesman for the broadcaster. The BBC representative said that the only time it should be recruiting someone on an interim basis would be when the role to be filled is for temporary administrative cover or another short term position, or for a finite project that requires a specialised skillset for a previously determined time period.

Taxation and employment experts responded to the announcement, remarking that this is a perfect example of how important it is that contractors demonstrate that they are paying proper tax levels through genuine self-employment. With disguised employment as defined under IR35 encountering so much close scrutiny over the past few months, this has become a critical issue for any freelancer that has worked long-term or open-ended contracts, not just with the BBC but with any other public or private firm.

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