One third of all workers in the creative and cultural sectors are self-employed. A recent survey by the CIF revealed that 62% of those freelancers had lost 100% of their income in March - significantly higher than the loses reported by companies.
Whilst two thirds of employees on furlough arrangements will have 80% of their income secured until the end of October via the Job Retention Scheme (JRS), the self-employed will see support via the Self Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS) cut off as soon as August.
Responding to today’s announcements by the Chancellor, Caroline Norbury, CEO, Creative Industries Federation, said:
“We called on government to extend SEISS and we are pleased to see that this has been announced today. However, the most vulnerable are still at risk, and this is a missed opportunity to catch those freelancers who continue to fall through the gaps, such as PAYE freelancers, limited company contractors and the newly self-employed."
The Job Retention Scheme has also been a lifeline for many in the creative industries, and the ability to furlough part-time earlier than planned is welcome, however clarity is needed beyond October. As called for in our statement with UKHospitality and Association of Leading Visitor Attractions yesterday, it is imperative that we avoid a cliff-edge on these vital government support schemes, ensuring relief continues for those businesses who will take longest to resume full levels of operation.
As the Chancellor acknowledged in parliament recently, 'The creative industries play an incredibly important part in our economy in this country, are one of our great exports around the world and add to our soft power. We should do everything we can to preserve the jewel that is that industry'."