Write to your MP – support freelancers

ExcludedUK has found that around 3 million people have been left out of  the government’s Self-employment Income Support Scheme and Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. Many thousands of these are in the creative industries.

Despite the government’s arts recovery package, theatres, live events and other venues are consulting over redundancies and laying off casual staff.  Bectu is already aware of at least 5,000 job losses, with more being announced day by day.

This is because:

  • Many organisations are still waiting to find out if they will qualify for funding or loans, and mid October is the earliest those who qualify are likely to receive anything.
  • Employers had to start contributing to furlough schemes from 1 August.

Despite indoor performances now being permitted, theatres still have no income coming in and for many it will take months for shows to be ready. They also face reduced income because of social distancing.

The many types of freelancer excluded from income support schemes are desperate and their numbers have been growing since employer contributions to the furlough scheme were introduced.

If you are excluded from support, please write to your MP and tell them about your personal circumstances. Ask for a personal video call if your MP is holding surgeries.

Do add in some examples of how your local creative industries contribute to people’s quality of life and what constituents are missing out on while venues are closed.

If you are not personally affected, please write expressing your concerns about those who are, and sharing why your local theatre or other venue is so important to you and what you are missing while it is closed.

You can add to and edit the draft letter within this tool to reflect your own circumstances, before you send it to your MP.

Type in your postcode below to see who your MP is and amend and send the letter.

If you have questions please email Bectu Communications