The Federation responds to the Chancellor's statement on self employed workers and freelancers

March 26, 2020

Caroline Norbury MBE, CEO of the Creative Industries Federation and Creative England, said:

"The Chancellor’s statement today is a victory for the creative industries. It is welcome that the voice of the creative sector has been heard and government is going to stand by the majority of the UK’s self employed and freelance workers, as called for in our open letter to the Chancellor this week. We now must ensure that this package is comprehensive and interim relief is immediately accessible.

A third of the UK’s creative workforce are self-employed - more than double the national average of 15%. Many of these workers had 100% of their work cancelled overnight due to the impact of Covid-19.

Although the measures announced today are welcome, it is vital that they are implemented as a matter of urgency, and certainly much quicker than the proposed timeline of June - two months later than those on payroll. Self-employed workers have outgoings and business expenses due immediately, which £94.25 a week in Universal Credit payments simply will not cover. They cannot wait three months to be paid. It is vital that government implements an interim basic income for the self-employed, until the scheme is fully operational. 

We are seeking urgent clarity for those creative workers who may be most in need and fall between these schemes including those who commenced self employment after April 2019, recent graduates, those paid in dividends, temporary workers and those short term contractors normally paid by PAYE. We must ensure that these packages are truly comprehensive and accessible to all."

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