There have been so many companies that have worked really hard to furlough as many of their freelancers as they can. That is really gratifying at a time when it is particularly tough for every part of the industry – broadcasters, companies and freelancers alike.
There are companies however who have not seized the furloughing ball with quite the alacrity that others have. While that is understandable for the smaller companies, who may have cash flow issues (albeit that can be worked around), it is particularly disappointing when it comes to a big company, including the self described “leading production companies” like Ricochet.
This company has refused to furlough a number of freelancers whose contracts have come to a natural end (ie not specifically because of Covid-19). They claim that this is in line with HMRC advice, however that is not the case and numerous companies in the industry are indeed furloughing their workers under precisely the same circumstances.
Even more disappointingly it seems that they will not take advantage of the easiest way to confirm this eligibility either – by asking the official sources that could immediately confirm this (I asked Managing Director Joanna Ball to do this but she declined).
Who knows why. The only thing that is certain is that the longer Ricochet delays making that decision, the less money that freelancers will get. And of course if the company doesn’t listen to the official advice at all and doesn’t change what they are doing, a lot of freelancers are going to have to go without the money they need to pay their bills.
Seems a pretty tough way to behave.