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New BBC payments system for freelancers

The BBC introduces a new system for freelance hires and payments on Monday 14 October 2013.

12 October 2013

The BBC's new system for hiring freelancers and casuals, the Freelance Payment Portal, will go live on Monday 14 October 2013.

The system promises to be quicker and easier, will enable workers to view their jobs and payments online and all with less paperwork.

Find out more about the portal

In a briefing to BECTU, the BBC said the portal:

"will significantly speed-up the BBC’s hiring process and will put freelancers and casuals more in control by them being able to log-into a simple website to view and accept any jobs.  After they’ve completed a job, they can simply log-in again and claim their payment, which should be paid in the next weekly pay run."

To help BECTU members through the transition, the BBC committed to write to all freelancers and casuals engaged by the BBC in the last 12 months with information about the go-live date and guidance on the changes. Freelancers will also be supported by a new freelancer website.

Changes to expenses too

With the launch of the Freelance Payment Portal also comes a change to the way freelancers and casuals should claim their expenses; these are currently claimed as part of the invoicing process.  From go-live, they’ll have to complete an expenses claim form, which they can get from the website, and return it to their BBC booker for approval and payment. 

Commenting on the developments, Helen Ryan, BBC supervisory official said:

"The Freelance Payment Portal (FPP) will be for PAYE weekly paid freelancers (the BBC's term now for casuals); freelancers, and those hired through service companies hired by the BBC and BBC Studios and Post Production Ltd.

"The move of the casuals onto the new system will be done in one go, the week after launch. For the other two categories, the change will be effective when they are first hired after the 14 October."

No more purchase orders

"The new system will get rid of the hated purchase order system. Members will be able to manage and update their personal details, accept the booking, monitor it and claim payment, all online.

"Where the job changes the person who made the booking can change the system and the payment will be amended immediately (that was a big issue with the old system). Once the member makes the claim, they will be paid within seven days. Individuals will be given a BBC number and this will remain with them throughout their work for the BBC and for Studios & Post Production Ltd." Helen Ryan explained.

Standard contracts

The BBC have already computerised their contracting process which means that there are standard contracts with standard terms; these documents are attached to this page or use these links.

BBC Worker Terms & Conditions

BBC Self-Employed/Service Company Terms & Conditions

Equality Monitoring

The BBC will now do equality monitoring of freelance hires and will share the data with BECTU once this is sufficient to make assessment meaningful. 

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