The BBC is changing the way it engages freelancers. From Monday 14 October 2013, the BBC will book and pay all freelancers (including directors) exclusively through a brand new online system called the Freelance Payment Portal. Here is what you need to know about using the FPP:
Agreeing a booking
Should an engagement be agreed between you and the BBC, you will receive an email confirming the booking. It is essential however that when you are negotiating terms with the BBC that you ensure that your working conditions (e.g. extra days, weekends, any extra duties) and your screen credit is agreed. These should be included in the confirmation email in the section Additional Information. If either of these are missing or are incorrect, or anything else in this email that was previously agreed is not included, you should contact the person responsible for your booking and query this. Do not confirm until you are satisfied with all the information in this email.
The first time you are booked after 14 October you will also receive three more emails: the terms and conditions, followed by a message asking you to verify your details to enable you to setup your FPP account and finally, login details and a link to the FPP.
Creating a profile
Once you’ve created your profile, you will be taken to the My Details tab. Much of your personal information will most likely already be displayed here, but where there is data missing, or anything is incorrect, you can rectify this by clicking the Make a Change button.
There are two things members should pay particular attention to on this section:
If you are VAT registered and wish to claim VAT you must enter your VAT registration number on this screen. VAT cannot be claimed on PAYE (previously known as Casual contracts) bookings.
There is also an option for Expenses Bank Details – this only needs to be completed if you require expenses to go into a different account than your main one.
Once you have completed this section, click the New Bookings/Bookings Awaiting Acceptance tab, where you will be able to confirm your engagement. To do so, you need simply select the dot on the left-hand side of the page and select Accept Booking underneath.
You will now be ready to undertake the BBC job. Once complete, your payment will be ready for you to claim in the FPP. This can be done via the Current Bookings/Claim Payment tab. Click here, and find the payment referring to this engagement. To claim, select the appropriate radio button and click Claim. The next screen will display all the payments owed to you (e.g. Standard Fee, Leave).
Once again, you will need to select the appropriate radio buttons, then click Continue.
An invoice for the production will then appear, featuring booking reference number, your VAT number, payment details and dates and your bank details. You can print this for your records, then select Submit Claim at the bottom of the page (you will also need to tick the box at the bottom of the screen confirming that it is your responsibility to declare this VAT to HMRC).
This and all future claimed payments will then appear in the Claim History tab, which will allow you to view and print past invoices.
The FPP will go live from Monday. The external site is already live and can be found here. If you have any questions at all about the FPP, you can contact BBC HR Direct at 0800 082 8080 or [email protected].