Lifestyle magazine The Pool has suspended all freelancer commissions after it emerged it was facing a sizeable backlog of late payments owed to contributors as well as to staff.
New editor Cate Sevilla took the decision to halt all new work requests for freelance journalists and photographers, including from regular columnists, after being inundated with queries over unpaid invoices since she took the job in September.
In comments made to the Press Gazette, Sevilla said the problems stemmed from The Pool being “a small business that’s going through a financial restructure”. Repeating the ‘small business’ reference on Twitter, she added: “It’s not as simple as ‘having the office manager’ pay people on time.”
The National Union of Journalists (NUJ), which has been contacted by a number of freelancers asking for advice, said it was concerned by the potential financial situation at the magazine. Other writers awaiting payment have taken to Twitter to fuel rumours that it could be as much as a quarter behind in its payments.
The issue underlines the lack of security freelancers face. In this case, it appears the problems may indeed stem from The Pool’s small size and possibly overstretching itself in its use of freelance contributors.
Content continues below
The zombie apocalypse could be coming sooner than you think, with R3, the Association of Business Recovery Professionals, warning that an even greater number of companies are now showing the…
Mr Lawrence McGovern, director of Railtrades Ltd (“Railtrades”) has received a 6 year disqualification order for disposing of the company’s assets worth an estimated £52,000 and paying almost that…
Wholesaler Palmer & Harvey has entered administration after failing to restructure significant debts owed to suppliers. The Palmer & Harvey Group, the UK’s fifth-largest privately owned business and…
Contractors and SME suppliers in the UK could finally be in line for legal protection from losses in the event of a client collapsing.In the wake of several high-profile insolvency cases such as that…
Launched in 2015 by BBC Radio 6 Music presenter Lauren Laverne and former Cosmopolitan UK and Red magazines editor Sam Baker, The Pool targets a female audience in its coverage of news, fashion, food and culture.
Regardless of the size of a business, hiring freelancers carries a number of attractions. These include the ability to easily scale up and down virtually at the drop of a hat, the option to hire specialists for very specific projects and, of course, cost. When you take out tax and benefits, it is widely believed that hiring a freelancer can be as much as a third cheaper than taking on a full-time employee.
But there are still financial risks to taking on freelancers, especially for smaller businesses. Cash flow can be a sticking point. Sometimes the up-and-down nature of expenditure on freelancers can catch businesses out - if they hire too many in a short space of time, they can easily find they don’t have the cash to pay them all a short way down the line.
Fingers crossed this is the case at The Pool and the action being taken will result in all out-of-pocket freelancers getting their money in short order. For them, unfortunately it is just a matter of sitting tight and waiting. If there are deeper underlying issues at the magazine, then they could end up in the much worse situation of making claims over assets following insolvency.
Over 150 Years Of Industry Experience
Our modest but highly skilled team has a combined total of over 150 years of experience in commercial credit management and B2B debt collection. From independent IT contractors to major film and TV publishers, Safe Collections has the knowledge and experience you need to get paid quickly and cost effectively.
Image "Empty Pocket" by Flickr user "CafeCredit" used in accordance with CC by 2.0