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“Freelancers play a vital role in our industry and the creative industries as a whole. The downturn has hit every corner of the economy with a huge impact on the creative industry and as a result freelancers are out of work and in desperate need of government support to survive this crisis.”

Magnus Djaba

Global President - Saatchi & Saatchi

Creative workers have been forgotten by the government.

Nearly half of creatives across our great creative industry are freelance. We were asked to set up as Limited Companies. So that’s what we did. But now we are not eligible for the new Self Employed Income Support Scheme. We mostly pay ourselves through small dividends not salaries. We can’t furlough.

We have no options. We need options. We need the government to change policy so that the PAYE income and dividends paid to freelancers through their Limited Company be counted as income for the purpose of calculating the Income Support Package.

Rishi changed his mind last time - we can do it again. Please share this film and make some noise.


  • The people that make our creative industry are the envy of the world.

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    “The ability to draw upon the incredible talent of freelancers, and to do so easily and quickly, is fundamental to British agencies creative and commercial success.

    However, that comes with an industry and government responsibility to those very freelancers that they do not bear a disproportionate degree of hardship when the going gets tough.

    Now more than at other time, that responsibility must be acted on. This is not a time to forget those we have depended upon in the past and will do so again soon enough.”

    Garbhan O’Bric

    President - Ridley Scott Creative Group
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    “In the creative industry we don’t treat talent differently just because they are freelance. So why, during this critical time of need, would we treat them any differently?

    Our country needs to look after it's extraordinary creative talent no matter which HMRC form determines how they are paid.”

    Brian Williams

    Freelance Executive Creative Director
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    “I believe freelance can bring fresh eyes and a diversity of thinking to our creative industry. Covid has robbed freelancers of an income over night. The government need to do more to support them.”

    Mick Mahoney

    Creative Partner, Harbour
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    “Talent is the most important commodity for the creative industries. It is also the only commodity. Everyone has a shared responsibility to support this creative talent, which makes our industry the amazing life force of the economy that it is today.

    We all know these are difficult times for everyone. But when we recover, there will never be a more urgent need for fresh ideas to restart our lives, restart our industry and restart our economy. We will need our talent to be firing on all cylinders like never before. That means our country needs to look after its talent, now.”

    Brian Cooper

    Freelance Executive Creative Director

The forgotten industry.

"Independent candidate for the Mayor Election, Rory Stewart has supported our campaign: “The self-employed & freelancers are the backbone of our economy - among the most creative, resilient and innovative people we have. The UK has a moral obligation and a strong interest in supporting them through this crisis”.

The Creative Economy contributes £111.7bn* to the UK economy. Pre-Coronavirus the Creative Industries were growing at 5 x the rate of the UK economy as a whole.**

Nearly half of the creative workers in the creative industries - 47 per cent - are freelance compared with 15 per cent across the workforce as a whole.*

Surveys indicate that 90%*** of creative industry workers, are set up as Limited Companies.

This is not a small problem.

IPSE say that Coronavirus is not only a health crisis, but an economic crisis too, and one that is likely to hit the smallest businesses - the self-employed - the hardest.

And another thing.

We want the government to also review the following:

  1. Bring forward the payout of the Self-Employed Income Support Package, certainly much quicker than the proposed timeline of June - two months later than those on payroll. Self-employed workers have outgoings and business expenses due immediately, which £94.25 a week in Universal Credit payments simply will not cover. They cannot wait three months to be paid.

  2. To allow those who have recently turned self-employed to be eligible for the Income Support Package. Those who recently transitioned to full-time self-employment are currently unsupported.

  3. Remove the £50,000 income ceiling for the self-employed support scheme so more people are able to claim.


*Creative Industries Federation. Creative Freelancers Report.

July, 2017

Authors: Eliza Easton, Evy Cauldwell-French

**Creative Industries Federation.

Source - DCMS Sectors Economic

Estimates 2018:

GVA. Feb 2020

***Survey of freelancers in commercials production

(via a Zoom call with 233 participants on Friday 27th March and emails.)

Advertising Production Association