BBC to scrap Limited Company freelancers


Limited Company Freelancers

The BBC is to scrap Limited Company Freelancers.

According to a report in the Daily Mail, the BBC is going to bring in a new test to determine the status of all its freelancers. A Public Accounts Committee report said that the BBC were using thousands of freelancers who worked there long-term, like Jeremy Paxman, including lots of presenters.

The BBC said that it was imperative that they used freelancers. However, their own report said that they needed to look at it again and who was a freelancer and who wasn’t.

Gone Further

It seems that the BBC has gone further than that. It has told the Government that it will stop hiring Limited Company freelancers in the next month or so. It looks as if this is under pressure from the Public Accounts Committee. There was a huge furore in the Press recently about the number of freelancers that the BBC uses.

Indeed, Jeremy Paxman said that he and others had come under pressure from the BBC to set up Limited Companies which they did. Now it looks like the BBC have gone completely the other way. They now want to outlaw their freelancers using Limited Companies.

Employment Test

They are going to compile an IR35 test to see if someone is actually to be hired as an employee or a freelancer. It looks as if this is good news for the Umbrella Companies. They will have a field day at the BBC as there are currently thousands of them there in Limited Companies.

It looks, long-term, as if the Government favour the use of Umbrella Companies by freelancers rather than Limited Companies. It makes it a lot easier for them to deal with a few hundred Umbrella Companies rather than over a million freelancers.

More Tax

The Umbrella Company freelancers pay around £10,000 a year more in tax as they can claim less. Also, the Umbrella Companies subtract PAYE from their contractors and send it weekly to the Government. It makes the tax less effort to collect and process. The Umbrella Companies are doing it for them.

This new proposal from the BBC to not use Limited Company freelancers in the future may be just the thin end of the wedge as far as UK freelancers are concerned.