The actress Imelda Staunton spoke of her personal experience of being self-employed at the launch of the Creative Freelancers report at the National Theatre, London.
Speaking before going to rehearsals, she urged government to read the report to understand the sector and its workers better. "The government, hopefully, with this report, will be able to understand what this profession and what the creative industries are about, and what it needs to be the very best it can be. I hope the government takes this home and reads it rather carefully."
The report draws on evidence from 700 freelancers and around 50 organisations that use them to demonstrate who these workers are and what they do for the fastest growing sector of the British economy.
Nearly half of the creative workers in the creative industries - 47 per cent - are freelance compared with 15 per cent across the workforce as a whole.
But a lack of understanding by policy makers means freelancers have been ignored or poorly served. For example, there is no visa for freelancers and universities are judged by the numbers of students in full-time employment after graduation, even in careers where a portfolio of freelance work is better training.
The report was also supported by Federation members including the director Stephen Frears, actor Samuel West and writers AL Kennedy and Sophie Kinsella.