Employment data for 2019 released by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport shows the number of self-employed and freelance workers is as much as 70% in music, performing and visual arts.
UK Music campaigns on issues concerning fairness and safety for freelance and self-employed workers. This has been made even more urgent following the pandemic, where some freelance and self-employed workers slid through the gaps, receiving little or no support from the Government during a period where they were unable to work due to restrictions.
Freelancer & Self-Employed Fund
UK Music is calling on the Government to provide a freelancer and self-employed fund.
A recovery fund for creative industry freelance workers and the self-employed is essential to keep people with skills in the industry following the pandemic.
Programmes for a freelancer and self-employed recovery fund could focus on increasing the skills of freelancers, or the Government could mirror support offered in France, by providing a stipend for creative freelancers with a certain level of work in the sector to support them between jobs.
This support should sit alongside increased public funding for the arts sector through Arts Council funding and other initiatives.
Shared Parental Leave & Pay Rights
UK Music has also campaigned to update shared parental leave and pay rules to include self-employed and freelance parents.
Since it was introduced in 2015, shared parental leave and pay legislation has meant that employees can split their parental leave. It’s a flexible system that means parents can make the decisions about childcare and work that are right for them.
However, there is no shared parental leave and pay system in place for self-employed parents. The current system of Maternity Allowance for the self-employed places the entire burden of childcare onto the mother and offers no financial support for self-employed fathers or same-sex partners wanting to share some or all of the childcare.