In every war there are heroes, and in the battle against coronavirus it is no different. Our heroes are the owners and managers of production companies across the industry who have stepped forward to rehire and furlough those freelancers who have worked on their shows, as well as to offer much needed messages and phone calls of support at a time when pretty much all production work has been suspended. All of this has cast hopeful rays of sunshine at a time when things are looking pretty bleak for workers in the industry.
But there is the other side of the coin, and it comes in the form of a company called CXC Global.
It’s a name which might not be particularly familiar to those who work in TV production but it is one which is worth remembering for the future, albeit not for entirely laudable reasons. The company provides payroll services to businesses and its connection to our industry is that is provides that facility to the sports production company IMG. As a result, numerous freelancers who have worked on shows for IMG will have actually had CXC Global as their employer.
So it is CXC which has been in the position of being able to furlough those freelancers when Covid-19 hit. Naturally enough everyone turned to them expecting the company to do the decent thing and participate in the CJRS as every caring business would, given that it comes at no cost to the companies involved.
It is an assumption however which was met instead with a firm hand in the face, dispatched via a curt email which gave all freelancers one day’s notice and informed them that the company had “taken a business decision not to operate the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme” and that “CXC is under no obligation to offer this scheme or agree to it”.
This obviously came as pretty unwelcome news to everyone who received it, especially given that it was conveyed with scant words of support or sympathy. So I wrote to CXC Client Services Director Hannah Warman to ask why the company had taken this decision, given that it would cost the company nothing to provide this much needed support? All she would say however is that CXC had “not changed its position on the CJRS and will not be furloughing”.
Managing Director Connor Heaney was similarly terse too when I asked him the question, confining himself to confirming that the company could furlough everyone if it wanted to but saying that it had “made the decision not to furlough any workers engaged as this would not be compatible with our business model”.
It seems then this is the kind of caring HR function you get then when you farm out employment services to another company like IMG has. At the end of the day they see you as just part of their “business model”. Nothing more, nothing less; it appears that you’re pretty much just a line on a spreadsheet to them.
So a name to remember for the future then.“Thriving through trusted connections” is one of the.slogans which greets visitors to their site. Not really I would suggest. As many freelancers have discovered, these are pretty shallow words when the company can’t be trusted to extend a helping hand to its workers at a time when so many need it.
“Shabby, shameful and uncaring” pretty much covers it.