Government has completely lost the confidence of freelancers, Bectu survey finds

17 March 2020

97% of creative freelancers think the government is failing to respond to their concerns during the coronavirus crisis, a Bectu survey of over 5600 people has found.

When asked how well are the government responding to the concerns of freelancers, 52% said terribly and a further 43% said not well.

The survey launched after the budget as a response to many self-employed, zero hours contract workers and freelancers not being covered by the measures including statutory sick pay that were announced by the chancellor.

The survey closed at 6pm on Monday 16 March just as the government was announcing further measures, including advice to avoid theatres, to stop the spread of coronavirus.

People working across film, TV, theatre, the arts and live events took part with 83% reporting themselves as freelancers.

Head of Bectu Philippa Childs said:

“These findings show that many of these people have already fallen through the net. The chancellor has an opportunity today to rectify this and put in to place measures that will cover people who can’t access the benefits system or statutory sick pay. These people can’t be left in limbo any longer and the government must recognise that because of coronavirus many jobs have been cancelled and there is a real prospect of no work for many months ahead. Support for this group can not be delayed any longer.”

Bectu has already written to the chancellor outlining concerns about the financial pressures freelancers are facing. Read the letter here.

The full survey results will be available later in the week.

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