UK self-employed freelancers calling for Temporary Income Protection Fund

  • Multiple organisations representing UK freelancers have written an open letter calling on Prime Minister Boris Johnson for a Temporary Income Protection Fund to support the self-employed during the coronavirus crisis.

    The letter has already received the support of signatories such as creative industry veterans Stephen Fry and Philip Pullman CBE, alongside trade bodies including Enterprise Nation, the British Fashion Council, Directors UK, Design Council and UKIE.

    There is also a petition to support the fund.

    The organisations – including IPSE (the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed) and the Creative Industries Federation - have warned that because coronavirus is an income crisis as well as a health one, the government’s measures will not be enough for freelancers.

    A Creative Industries Federation survey this week found that 60% of freelancers estimate that their income will decrease by over half in 2020, and a snap poll on Twitter in the last 12 hours showed almost 50% of freelancers have already had 100% of their work cancelled this week.      

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    To support the self-employed through the coming months, the organisations are calling on the Prime Minister for an emergency fund that gives a time-limited and carefully targeted cash grant to the self-employed businesses and freelancers that need it most.

    Stephen Fry has supported the letter calling for freelancers' Temporary Income Protection Fund (c)

    They cite the example of other countries such as Norway, which has said it will pay self-employed people 80% of their income.

    Andy Chamberlain, director of policy at IPSE said: “The government must do more now or risk an enormous blow to the £305bn self-employed sector.

    “It is a significant ask, but it is what is needed to keep this vital sector going through these grave and unprecedented times.”

    He added that the self-employed “must not be left with a disastrous choice between their incomes and their health.”

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    Caroline Norbury MBE, CEO of the Creative Industries Federation added: “The creative industries generate over £111bn for the UK economy. 

    “One in three workers in the creative industries is self-employed.

    “With the closure of many theatres, cinemas, venues and cultural spaces this week, many creative freelancers have had their work cancelled overnight.

    Without the right support, government measures will hit the self-employed the hardest, and not just on their bottom line: on their families and mental health.”

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    Sir Philip Pullman, president of the Society of Authors said: “In this confused and anxious time, those artists, writers, musicians and others who earn a fragile livelihood as self-employed suppliers of delight and consolation should not be forgotten.

    “It’s not easy to make a living doing that at the best of times: now the need to support our freelance artists of every kind is urgent and imperative.”

    Emma Jones MBE, founder of small business support network Enterprise Nation, commented that some fiscal intervention must emerge “at the very least in the next few days.”

    She concluded: "We're working hard to find creative ways to provide tips and information for small businesses and self-employed individuals via our coronavirus hub. It's free to anyone to use."

    Has your job or income been affected by the coronavirus crisis? Are you a freelancer or self-employed? Tell us your story by e-mailing

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    Source: Written from press release

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