Responding to serious complaints about the BBC policy requiring on air talent to contract through personal service companies, Jennifer Millins, the lawyer representing over 170 BBC workers on tax and employment issues, says:
"The BBC appears to have operated a long-standing policy of requiring many on air talent staff to contract through personal service companies. This has created a class of staff that have significantly fewer legal rights and substantially less job stability. While appropriate for the engagement of some individuals, many others believe that they would have been considered workers or employees but for the contractual arrangement they were required to adopt. As a result, they have been denied sick pay, holiday pay and other rights such as maternity pay over many years.
"Until a recent change in the law, the BBC has not had to deduct tax or National Insurance from payments to personal service companies. It now appears to be doing so on a blanket basis and arguably without proper consideration of the proper tax or employment status of individuals, or the significant financial detriment that its policy of ‘recoupment’ is causing to individuals.
"Following on from the powerful evidence given to the DCMS select committee at the end of January about the personal impact of the BBC’s failure to observe equal pay laws, today we will hear from those who have been personally affected by this latest employment practice at the BBC to hit the headlines."