In a joint letter, the UK’s main broadcasters ITV, BBC, Sky, Channel 4, Channel 5 proprietor Viacom and union Pact have known as on the federal government to make sure it can help tv trade freelancers throughout the coronavirus disaster.
The UK authorities unveiled measures final week to help the nation’s freelance staff, claiming that 95% could be lined, following an identical transfer to cowl the wages of furloughed workers throughout the disaster in order that there received’t be widespread lay-offs. The information was largely met with a constructive response, however there have been vocal issues that some staff would possibly slip by the help web.
At this time, the broadcasters are calling on Tradition Secretary Oliver Dowden to ensure this doesn’t occur. They’re proposing an modification to the prevailing self employed help scheme that might see PAYE and tax data used to ascertain eligibility for freelancers who commerce in a wide range of methods.
The letter, which you’ll learn in full beneath, has signatories together with BBC director common Tony Corridor, Channel Four CEO Alex Mahon, and ITV CEO Carolyn McCall.
Pricey Secretary of State
Help for Freelance staff paid by PAYE
Thanks for internet hosting the CEO spherical desk for TV and radio earlier this week and for giving us the chance to feed views from our sector into authorities.
We wished placed on file our gratitude for the swift and decisive motion the federal government is taking up a lot of fronts to attempt to mitigate as a lot of the financial impression of the coronavirus pandemic as attainable.
The furloughing and the freelance schemes are significantly vital for our organisations as they provide us the very best likelihood of restarting our actions at tempo when the lockdown is relaxed, serving to to keep up the UK’s world main place within the artistic industries.
Nevertheless, as you recognize on the spherical desk assembly a lot of attendees raised the intense challenge of how to make sure that freelancers who’re paid by PAYE don’t unintentionally fall by the cracks of those two help schemes.
This can be a explicit challenge in our trade which, while not colossal in scale, is just too massive and too fragmented for any enterprise to have the ability to take care of. As with the opposite employee schemes, solely the federal government is realistically capable of assist this group and we expect that there’s a means that this could possibly be finished comparatively simply with out creating any new scheme. We set out the issue in additional element beneath along with what appears to us to be the simplest potential answer.
There’s a class of TV staff who is not going to qualify for any of the present authorities help schemes. They’re people who find themselves freelancers however who’ve been paid repeatedly (or simply often) through PAYE and:
The problem is inconceivable for anybody employer to trace as this class of freelancers received’t essentially at all times be paid by PAYE and most could have a lot of totally different employers. By the use of instance, we all know that ITV pays circa 400 freelancers by PAYE every month and Sky a bit over 1000 however these are usually not at all times the identical individuals every month and we don’t have visibility of what these individuals we do pay by PAYE are doing or who they’re working for when not engaged with us. Even when they’re engaged with us they could generally be paid by PAYE and generally as sole merchants, relying on the venture and the phrases of engagement.
Solely HMRC has an entire file of PAYE and tax for any particular person from all employments, through distinctive NI numbers. Accordingly, HMRC may subsequently set up whether or not, and as much as what stage, these people could be entitled to some kind of furlough help.
To ensure that this to be attainable, it might make sense to amend the self-employed help scheme guidelines in order that these PAYE and tax data could possibly be used to ascertain eligibility for a similar help as different freelancers who commerce in several methods.
This method would have the next benefits:
Clearly within the present circumstances there isn’t a time to be misplaced and we’re eager to do all the pieces we are able to to work with authorities and HMRC to attempt to implement this kind of answer to the issue. Our groups stand able to ship what help we are able to to assist this vital team of workers in our world main artistic economic system and we suggest to select this up with senior officers in your division within the coming days. We sit up for working with the Authorities on this challenge; we’re copying the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak MP.
Carolyn McCall CEO, ITVTony Corridor, Director-Basic, BBCStephen Van Rooyen CEO, Sky UK and EuropeMaria Kyriacou UK President, ViacomCBS / Channel 5John McVay CEO, PactAlex Mahon CEO, Channel 4