Magazine article Screen International

Plan to Help Freelancers in Creative Industries Unveiled

Magazine article Screen International

Plan to Help Freelancers in Creative Industries Unveiled

Article excerpt

Report by Creative Industries Federation highlights the difficulties facing freelancers.

The Creative Industries Federation published a report today (17th July) which aims to improve the working lives of freelancers in Britain’s creative industries.

The document draws on evidence from 700 freelancers and around 50 organisations that use them. According to the report, 47% of workers in the creative industries are freelance, compared to 15% across the UK workforce as a whole.

Actress Imelda Staunton spoke at the launch of the new initiative at the National Theatre in London this morning. Samuel West, Stephen Frears, AL Kennedy and Sophie Kinsella have also backed the report.

The report highlights practical issues, from tax returns to affordable workspace, where government could act to make a difference. It also challenges the sector to tackle bad practices such as late payments and the prevalence of unpaid work.

It also suggests that last week’s Taylor review into the ‘gig economy’ did not take into account the requirements of the creative sector.

Some of the recommendations in the Creative Industries Federation report include:

* Testing ways of providing sustainable social security for freelancers

* Providing extra support during transition to Making Tax Digital and quarterly tax returns

* Protecting freelancers’ creative workspaces against development

* Making self-employment, across all sectors, part of a ministerial brief in the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS)

* Supporting an independent UK-wide virtual hub which would be a one-stop shop for business advice and mentoring for creative entrepreneurs

Imelda Staunton said of the report: “As an actor, I’ve always been a freelancer - it’s just how the theatre and film industries work. …

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