Protection for people “forced” into self-employment

Experts are calling for more protection against organisations ‘pressuring’ people into self-employment models, after it was revealed thousands of BBC staff could face significant backdated tax bills for working through personal service companies (PSCs).

The broadcasting corporation came under fire in March, after MPs were told hundreds of employees had been forced to set themselves up as self-employed rather than be treated as employees.

And last month, the BBC director general confirmed that more than 3,000 BBC radio staff were put through a test to establish whether their employment status was affected by changes to the IR35 rules. These have required public sector organisations engaging with staff working through PSCs, resulting in increased tax bills for many freelancers and contractors.

This February, former BBC presenter Christa Ackroyd was ordered to pay over £400,000 in unpaid tax after the high court ruled she was an employee rather than a contractor.

Meanwhile, reports last week indicated ITV presenter Eamonn Holmes is facing an IR35 investigation that could cost him up to £2 million.

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