What are the freelancer's rights if they don't receive payment?
Hello, I am a freelance Researcher in TV. Last year, I started a Researcher job at a drinks company that wanted to eventually develop their concept into a documentary programme. The contract seemed to have long-term potential - in the words of my boss "if we can get enough information, which I’m sure is out there then we can run with it for a long time". I requested a brief offer of employment when I got the job and the boss sent through a confirmation of rate and role title (no dates) and said he will be in touch soon with the rest.
I carried out a week's work & sent it, my boss told me he will go over it and "let’s jump on a zoom early next week to discuss everything moving forward". As I was waiting for the boss to get in touch the following week, I continued working on the brief. He didn't get in touch and on Friday I sent an email to say that I've been working and still needed to finish up the latest research, which would send all by Monday morning. Boss replied to say that he wasn't expecting me to work through the week after last email, but that I should send it over and let's catch up on Tuesday.
Then next week after submitting the work, the assistant of the boss emailed me to say "he will look for a more concise narrative for further research" and will be in touch with me. When I chased this up later, the boss said the assistant will contact me in a few months.
I waited to hear back, but never have. I then sent an invoice for 2 weeks for the work I carried out (just under a year of starting the job). I worked extremely hard for this job - first of all, all NYE and all of the day after (for the initial pitch presentaiton to get the job), then late into the evenings of the working days and also weekends.
Since sending the invoice 2 months ago, I haven't heard back. I called the boss a few times, but his phone goes straight to voicemail. I sent him another email today. I called the business landline but it's cut off.
It is a drinks business, I think it may have suffered during the pandemic. But I have checked online and the company is still 'active'.
Does anyone have any advice for me of how I can get my payment and what my rights are? Thank you very much!