BECTU launches freelance members consultation following collapse of Halo VFX

19 March 2019

BECTU has launched a consultation with its members to determine how it provides guidance to freelance workers going forwards after the high profile collapse of Halo VFX.

The VFX company's unpaid workers had carried out work on the oscar-winning film Bohemian Rhapsody, with four BECTU members alone collectively owed more than £50,000.

The member consultation will determine how BECTU gives advice to VFX freelance workers in the aftermath and seeks feedback on giving guidance for payment terms and employment status in future.

At a meeting with VFX freelancers last night in London, Assistant National Secretary Paul Evans annouced the consultation and every freelance BECTU member working in the industry has since received a copy by email.

Speaking on the need for a consultation and industry reform in a recent BECTU blog, Evans said: "We are now consulting BECTU members working in VFX to decide what our guidance should be going forward. Some of the options that we would have to consider would be to advise members to either refuse to take work where they are employed as a limited company going forward and to insist upon being paid through PAYE."

"Another option would be to advise members who are working as freelancers to insist upon weekly invoices and immediate payment terms – and to walk away from any employer the moment a payment deadline is missed."

"Our opinion is that we must now advise our members to exercise extreme caution of they are working for any company that also has any of the Halo VFX Ltd directors on board. This opinion is based on the fact that these directors have now run a company that employed freelance contractors without paying them all fully."

"None of these are attractive options for our members, but we are sure that we will be in this position again because this industry has an ethical black hole that needs to be fixed."

Members can download the consultation from the BECTU document library here and are asked to email responses to by 29th March 2019.

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