Coronavirus Advice

Updated July 2021

Guidance on working in the creative industries during Covid-19, including how to work safely and where to find financial support. This advice will be regularly updated so please check back and follow us on Facebook and Twitter @EquityUK for the latest updates.

Covid-19 restrictions vary between EnglandScotlandWales and Northern Ireland so make sure you check the information for your region. 

Industry specific advice

Find relevant advice for your sector: 

Read the latest Government advice for people working in the performing arts


Financial support and advice

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) and Self-Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS)

Equity has been fighting hard for government support for creative workers and has been instrumental in securing the scheme for the self-employed.

There are two main government support schemes. The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) which covers those employers who operate PAYE (an employer deducts tax and national before paying you your wages) and the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS). The majority of Equity members will be eligible for SEISS, but many have not been able to access it and we have lobbied hard for that group.

Grant number 5 of the SEISS, covering May-September 2021, can be claimed from late July. New regulations, which re-introduce the Minimum Income Floor for self-employed claimants of Universal Credit, comes into effect from August 2021.

You can get in-depth details about CJRS and SEISS and other sources of support in our Covid-19 financial support guide.

Help with subs from the union

Members can apply for subs help from our hardship fund, find more information about Equity’s Benevolent Fund


Other sources of support

  • Creative Scotland have put together three funding programmes designed to provide further support to sustain Scotland's creative community during the COVID-19 outbreak. For more information visit Creative Scotland's website.


Cancellation and contract issues

Where you are worried about an engagement being cancelled or a contract being terminated due to coronavirus issues, please contact the relevant Equity Official for specific advice about your situation. Officials’ details can be found on the meet the team pages on our website.

If you aren't sure who the most relevant Official is to your area of work contact Sam Winter on swinter@equity.org.uk.

‘Force majeure’ or cancellation due to unforeseeable circumstances

A matter that may arise in relation to cancelled engagements or contracts is the concept of ‘force majeure’. This will usually be a clause in the contract that outlines circumstances under which the contract may be said to have been cancelled because of events or circumstances outside the engagers control. Another concept is ‘frustration of contract’ where the contract may be said to have been discontinued because of unforeseen circumstances.

The issues around these, and other contract matters, are never simple and often subject to interpretation, so your Equity Official is the first port of call for any query. Officials can obtain further detailed legal advice on your behalf where necessary.

Advice for students

Take a look at our advice for student members

Covid 19 - Rights and benefits during pregnancy and maternity leave

Find information and advice on the Maternity Action website. 


Mental wellbeing

At this worrying time, many of us are experiencing stress or anxiety. You can find help on our mental health resource pages, including how to access free counselling, plus more resources on the ArtsMinds website


Further resources