**There have now been new guidelines released which say that anyone whose fixed term contract has expired can no longer be rehired and furloughed, where they had been allowed before.
As of 3pm Friday, the government furloughing scheme (CJRS) allows companies to rehire and furlough freelancers whose contracts have come or are coming to a natural end, whether or not those contracts were curtailed by Covid-19. Those contracts can also be extended until the end of the scheme (currently May 31st).
That is not conjecture, opinion or guesswork: those are the facts, as contained in the official government guidelines and every single piece of written guidance issued by official sources since they were published and amended (see numerous written responses from HMRC on previous pages). It is those guidelines which both ITV and the BBC are using to furlough freelancers until May 31st, including those whose contracts have come to a natural end.
Unless and until there is any change in the government’s position, that remains the case, whatever speculation there is out there, including on the pages of the PACT website and in emails from PACT to its members.
Anyone who suggests otherwise is scaremongering in a reckless and thoughtless way and is putting freelancers’ livelihoods at risk . There is a huge amount of distress being expressed by a lot of people now on social media, all of which is being caused directly by PACT continuing to put out information that is not publicly verified and is not supported by the facts as they exist.
If PACT continues to frighten their members into not furloughing their freelancers on the basis of unverified supposition then they are doing a significant disservice to the industry and all their members, almost all of whom are trying their best to help and support the freelancers they care for
John McVay – you need to take that guidance down until you have the official confirmation needed to support it. Until you do you are creating confusion and unnecessary grief to a lot of freelance workers in our industry.
More to come on this. For sure.