World News – GB – How the government should help freelancers, according to the arts community


Money from the Culture Recovery Fund is starting to trickle into institutions, but what about the freelancers doing the work intended for them? ?

With the disappearance of employment opportunities, many have found themselves ineligible for the self-employment income support program and are struggling to find other income

Today, the government announces a program to provide overdue assistance to self-employed workers We asked leading figures in the arts world what it takes to protect a struggling workforce who feel forgotten and neglected

This discussion of recycling is not new to us because we are always recycling We are always doing something Teaching, voice over in the basement You can’t trust a single thing I got myself recycled during lockdown as a yoga teacher! As actors, we’re used to downtimes, to times when, you know, you can’t even get yourself arrested And so it’s been on my mind for a while, but obviously I haven’t needed to go and do this before but now I went to retrain for two months

[My husband, actor Hadley Fraser] and I applied for the Self-Employment Income Support Plan, but we weren’t eligible because we had had a good two years It’s crazy During all your working life you can get pretty badly paid, then you’ve got two or three when you think, great, I’m gonna put that money aside, because I’m gonna need it to live for the future or the tax bill, little And then of course because you actually made some money for once so you are told that you are not eligible and cannot get help I think that was about 36 percent of the workforce receiving government support

Basically we want the government to recognize that this is an Even though the end product may seem to have magically appeared, it is something that we train ourselves to do and spend our lives on. to do And the amount of money it generates, and about 137,000 jobs It’s not a hobby I wish they would recognize the fact that we all need help If we can’t get some jobs we normally do – in cafes, in stores – what are we supposed to do if we are not allowed to return to work? We can’t get universal credit We can’t get help We can’t get the grant It’s a bunch of people really desperate and have nowhere to go and if you don’t have people , you can borrow money or quickly find an idea of ​​how to make money, it’s disastrous

We have always known that freelancers are important and brilliant in this industry, and we are nothing without them But I think the freelancers themselves, as they work individually by entering institutions to collaborate as artists I don’t think anyone has realized the extent of their vulnerability as a workforce And I think the structure of the theater and the way it was done actually rests on this vulnerability So I think we are in a moment of realization, which will ultimately be good We are all going to make a difference We don’t do art without the freelance writer

Of course, we recognize the incredible amount of money that has been given to us by the Treasury, in terms of collection funds, but the stimulus fund is pushing some of the institutions through until the end of March And even though there are job opportunities now i think it’s a red herring The government needs to understand the importance and nuance of its independent self-employed economy Social protection systems are not nuanced enough to what freelancers actually do And the government has to take responsibility for this as a workforce, as well as the industry that takes responsibility for it And I feel that is not happening

Something like two-thirds of the self-employed are not eligible for the self-employment income support program as people earn 50% of their income, teaching or doing different things It means they are not eligible This has to change I would like to hear a recognition that the social protection systems and the self-employed systems in place are not fit for purpose, now we understand what the individual problems are and therefore we have to change them 100% of self-employed workers should be eligible

Outside of the BBC and Sky and the obvious channels, the film and tv industry is more or less fully independent.And all is well – we’re back in production and I kinda think if you were trying to find a good production manager right now you wouldn’t be able to do that because they all work But the live theater, the live music – it’s a disaster and we should find a way to protect these people We live for these great things, and they need to be protected so that when this is over, they exist

I understand that it is very difficult to find time off for a particular industry, but I think there should be something, in recognition of our creative industries, which in normal life are what the Great -Brittany excels We have to protect this as a nation, whether it’s with a tax credit or whatever, to make sure that these people can survive next year or 18 months or how long it’s going to last

Part of that is the perception. I don’t think the freelancers felt an arm go out [of the government], actually saying that what you do is really valuable and concerns the values ​​this country holds dear There is this famous quote from Winston Churchill from WWII, when someone said we should shut down theaters he said no, because what are we fighting for? Culture is close to our minds and a metaphorical embrace would go a long way! Appropriate recognition that what the creations do is really valuable, and hang in there, because we don’t want you to become a lab technician, we want you to continue to be a dancer And of course we have to find a way for you to make a living between now and when you can start over, but we figured it out I didn’t hear that I heard a load of piffle waffles

Can you imagine London without the London Symphony Orchestra? Well that’s the short answer This is one of our flagship UK orchestras that the country is so proud of – they are all independent Most of the orchestras and music makers in this country are independent They are the ones who make up the backbone of our entertainment

[When the lockdown started] if you were a PAYE musician you received some sort of monthly payment But if you were self-employed nothing

Let’s face it: Can people imagine a world without music? No entertainment? What is everyone turning to? There are so many reasons people turn to the arts, and I can confidently say it was the arts that kept people sane throughout the lockdown

At Chineke !, we got what we asked for in the culture revival fund We were delighted and grateful for what we got We are one of the grassroots organizations that are really the actors of the ‘classical music industry right now And therefore, we must be protected and supported

I think we need to [guarantee the performers fees if the events are canceled] It’s a no-brainer We need to support this Everyone needs to support this We need to find a way to put some pennies back in people’s pockets who make this country sing

Where will the musicians come from? If it was taken out of schools, if the professionals that we already have right now were cut off at their peak, what will happen? There will always be a few people, but you know who it will be? These will be the privileged few. It will not represent the great and diverse culture of this country and will not be relevant to our young people

There is no work without freelancers Without the actors, designers, directors, screenwriters and management, we have no work to give to theaters Without the 300,000 workers in our industry, there would be nothing on the stages and no one behind the scenes There would be nothing to sing for people, for people to say, there would be no actors to direct and there would be no of directors to direct the actors They are what make up the theater So it’s a very strange place we find ourselves in, as the industry and various parts of the sector are supported by the 15 billion, the workforce themselves, the independents have not been recognized

What I have been very clear about in my lobbying is that the way to help the independent sector, both financially and mentally, is that we get back to work Because then we can start employing people again and do the job we’re trained to do But it’s going to be slow But the more safely the theaters are helped to get back up, the sooner we can start employing the hundreds of thousands of currently unemployed people

The most practical thing the government can do is increase the rate of support for self-employed workers in the theater – in fact all the sectors where they have been so beaten up – which seems to be happening today, and to make a special case for our workers, because we do not want them to go to retrain Many of them have been trained for years, and we need these highly qualified professionals with years of experience upon our return If we lose them, we can’t come back

We know the government recognizes the importance of theater to the treasury and to the economic and mental health of our country I know they understand What they may not have joined yet is that the songs they listen to from the cast’s albums, the actors they see on Netflix shows, the Hamlets, the King Lears, the Mark Rylances in Jerusalem – that’s what we’re talking about And without them we have no industry so we have to take care of them until we come back

This crisis has catapulted the fate of our wonderful independent workforce to the heart of the debate on how to preserve art and culture for the future As a sector it shows just how incredible the range artists, technicians and creators of all kinds is vulnerable in an industry that beats the world and is unique on so many levels

The Cultural Stimulus Fund gives a period of stability to many institutions and organizations across the country, and now we must encourage each other to use this stability to keep our workforce in its integrity. If it is diminished or destroyed now, it will take years to rebuild it, and years also before parents of low-income families ever let their children devote themselves to the arts as a profession, and that would be a catastrophic result. similar because we need everyone’s voices to tell everyone’s stories

Finally, we need to take this time to craft new policies that recognize that safety nets are needed for a group of people who make up over 70% of the work of the creative sector and who have suddenly found themselves without a solid foundation. stand tall If you add to that the issue of women still struggling for opportunity and authority, and the overt bias that the Black Lives Matter movement has revealed and the disability arts forums have revealed, so this adds to the need for a new pact to be created with the freelance sector I know that there are many of us, myself included, who are determined to make this happen

Gareth Ellis-Unwin, director of film and animation at ScreenSkills and Oscar-winning producer of The King’s Speech

Freelancers are the backbone of production in the UK film industries and worked hard during what had been a boom time before the pandemic They are in demand again right now , because production is restarting and will be essential for economic recovery

It’s an industry with a bright future Lockdown has shown there’s an insatiable appetite for filmed content Last year TV and film production spending was £ 3bn and we let’s bounce already

One of the reasons the UK is world famous in this field is because we have highly skilled and world class talent at all levels – behind the camera as well as on screen Yet freelancers have suffered Many of those I count as friends and peers do not choose to be independent, it is a job requirement Film and television are not a continuous production line like that of industries like manufacturing or automobile

But as has been well documented, screen users fell through the cracks They have no employer and therefore cannot be made redundant Most were not eligible for further help put in place

The film industries are grateful to the government for the support it has offered to help productions return, which includes a quarantine exemption for international talent and the safety net in the restart programWorkforce Needs Thinking Now If coronavirus causes production to shut down, freelancers must have access to financial support and the support available should be more realistic than the current workers’ income support scheme independent If they contract Covid, adequate sickness benefit must be available

One of the biggest dangers facing our industry right now is the loss of talent, including those from more disadvantaged backgrounds, precisely those we have worked hard to find and nurture.The risk is that they will give up because that they simply don’t have the money to survive another break or decide that the lack of a financial safety net makes it too insecure to stay Yet this is not a workforce that should consider to retrain It’s a workforce that the United Kingdom must retain

The industry itself is already assessing what it should do We, ScreenSkills, the industry skills body, were one of the first signatories of the Coalition for Change which was created to address the working practices of freelancers on television This might be a good time for a good understanding of the value and needs of freelancers more broadly

Freelance, employment, self-employment

World news – GB – How the government should help freelancers, according to the arts community


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