Freelancers flood MPs with requests for financial assistance in less than 24 hours

24 March 2020

More than 7,000 freelance workers in the creative industries have written to their MPs in less than 24 hours, asking them to back Bectu’s campaign to support freelancers during the coronavirus outbreak.

So far, members have contacted 592 of the 650 MPs in the House of Commons – including every single Conservative.

They are calling for substantial financial measures to protect their incomes following the government’s announcement that it will protect up to 80% of employees’ salaries.

A new Bectu survey of more than 3,000 film and TV freelancers found that they face losing up to £33,000 unless the government extends its offer to top-up salaries to those who are freelance or self-employed.

Head of Bectu, Philippa Childs, said:

“These numbers show how desperate freelancers are at the moment. Their productions, venues and working lives were turned upside down close to two weeks ago and they are still waiting for government to act.

“Bectu is willing to engage and provide the insight that is desperately needed so that these people can also access up to 80% of their salary. This could be calculated by looking at their income over the past three years but more important than the precise mechanism is that it happens now.”

The call to write to MPs has also been extended to members of Prospect, Bectu’s parent union.

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