the media and entertainment union
a sector of Prospect

1 April 2010

The BBC and BECTU issued the following joint press statement today (Thursday 1 April).

BBC and BECTU sign new freelance agreement

The BBC and BECTU have successfully concluded talks on freelance recognition and have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) designed to achieve greater transparency and certainty in the way the BBC engages with its freelance community. 

This large and complex group are vital to the continued success of the BBC and the Memorandum will create a means of open communication between the BBC and BECTU on issues that relate to freelancers in production areas.

As part of this Memorandum, a standardised recognition agreement and process have also been agreed, to deal with pay, hours and holidays where BECTU can demonstrate they have at least 35% membership.

As a result of these talks, a recognition agreement has been established for Vision Productions, Drama and in the first year of this new agreement, BECTU and the BBC will begin by having discussions about a number of groups of freelancers who work in the fields of camera, lighting, sound, costume, hair and make-up.


Welcoming the agreement, BECTU general secretary, Gerry Morrissey, said:

"We are very pleased to have arrived at this agreement with the BBC which is set to deliver much needed transparency on the BBC's approach to its freelance workforce. The agreement also recognises the importance of the freelance community to the BBC's output."

For more information from BECTU contact Sharon Elliott, communications officer on