Global TV, holiday pay and the tax treatment of runners.

Global describes itself as “one of the world’s leading media and entertainment groups”, often recruiting production staff to make its shows. It recently took on a runner who found that, rather than the company adding holiday pay to the rate agreed, claimed that it had been “inclusive” in the rate, despite the clear and unequivocal guidance on the website that “an employer cannot include an amount for holiday pay in the hourly rate (known as ‘rolled-up holiday pay’)”.

This guidance is not new, and not difficult to find. Why then is Global effectively reducing a freelancer’s rate by trying to smuggle that holiday pay into the rate agreed? The company also suggested that the runner could be treated as self employed despite it- again on all official sources – being very clear that it is not permissible to treat Runners in this way.

I asked Anna-Maria Gilbert, the Senior Production Manager responsible for this, whether Global always treats runners as PAYE and never as self employed, as well as always paying holiday pay over and above the rate agreed, but she was unable to say. Further questions to the company also went unanswered.

If you have not been paid your holiday pay over and above the rate agreed, or if you have worked as a runner and Global has treated you as self employed, please feel free to get in touch. All freelancers should of course be wary of taking work with any company who does either of these things.