The Creative Industries Federation has written to the UK Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak MP, to highlight the plight of self-employed creatives and to suggest a solution.
The letter highlights the National Audit Offices recent report showing what hundreds of thousands of freelancers have known since March, that they have been excluded from Sunak’s employment support schemes during the pandemic.
The letter is signed by Caroline Norbury MBE, the Chief Executive of the Creative Industries Federation, Derek Cribb, CEO of IPSE (The Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed), Martin McTague, National Vice Chair of the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) and Mike Clancy, the General Secretary of Prospect.
They say, ‘We are writing this letter in coalition because we strongly believe that freelancers and creative entrepreneurs are central to the future of UK industry and our post-pandemic recovery.
‘As you know, the National Audit Office recently confirmed what many us have been articulating for some time, which is that many self-employed and freelance workers have been unable to claim from either the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme or Self-Employed Income Support Scheme, with some ineligible event for benefits. These workers have enabled UK sectors like the creative industries to be highly innovative, fast-growing and world-leading but we’re at real risk of losing those people and skills forever.’
The authors of the letter suggest that it is time the government appoints someone who understands the vagaries of self-employed income streams in the form of a Freelance Commissioner, supported by a Future Workforce Commission, co-chaired by government ministers and freelance professionals.
The complete letter can be found here.