Wednesday, 06 February 2019 07:00

Payment Problems at The Pool Underline Freelancer Risks

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 Pool Enters Administration As Freelancers Are Left Unpaid

Sadly, after reporting in our last blog on the issues digital magazine The Pool was having with paying freelance contributors, its financial issues have come to a head. Talks to save the ailing…

COVID Triggers 20% Spike in Overdue Payments Owed to SMEs

As the financial fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic continues to sweep through the economy, latest figures show that SMEs have been hit by a 20% surge in late payments over the past 12 months.…

Commonsense Steps for Avoiding Invoice Fraud

If there is a way of defrauding your company out of money, someone, somewhere has already thought of it. In fact, they are more than likely already sitting on a hefty pile of cash from the profits…

Cable: Big businesses have profited 'for long enough' from late payment

Late payments to SMEs must not be an acceptable way for big businesses to boost their own profits, according to business secretary Vince Cable, who is taking action to improve the transparency of…

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

8:00 - 20:00

8:00 - 20:00

Our Opening Hours Mon. - Fri.

+44 (0) 1772 454505

+44 (0) 1772 454505

Got questions? Call us today. No hard sell, guaranteed. 

© Safe Collections is a trading name of Safe Collections Limited. Incorporated 1984. Company Number: 01815264. VAT Number: GB407358159. All Rights Reserved.