COVID 19: Protection for Equity members & the creative industries

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The UK's creative workers need and deserve an income guarantee.

Just a few days ago theatres and many other live entertainment venues went dark and film and TV productions across the country shut down. We don’t know for how long these and many other workplaces will be closed or how many will re-open.

There are a number of performers and stage management currently engaged on conventional Equity contracts across the live and recorded media sectors which should be included in the job retention scheme. Many of these workers were effectively furloughed in the last few days and share many of the characteristics of those who are included in the 80% salary scheme

But we need clarity on this.

We also need protection for all freelance and self-employed workers. No one should be left behind just because their employment is insecure. Contrary to public perception the vast majority of our members earn modest sums from their work and do not have savings to fall back on.

Creatives, freelancers and self-employed workers deserve the same support and respect as employees in secure jobs. £94 per week is not enough to live on. The creative industries alone are worth £117bn to the economy & so much of this is because of our talented world leading workforce.

If we want the new economy to survive and thrive we need an income guarantee for the people who work hard in them. 

The Government needs to talk to unions representing creative and freelance workers now in order to safeguard the creative industries and provide a real safety net for all workers.