16 December 2020
Gaps in the Self Employment Income Support Scheme and the Coronavirus Job Retention scheme have left many Equity members with no support at all since March 2020 whilst opportunities to work across our industries have remained limited.
At the same time, many of the crises highlighted and exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic point to long-standing structural issues and a “pandemic of precarity” already afflicting many sectors including the creative industries. The current welfare system in the UK is not fit for purpose, and it fails to take into account the specific needs of freelance workers.
Equity is calling on the Government to introduce a Basic Income Guarantee for Creative Workers, which would help to provide creative workers with the financial stability to remain in the sector during the pandemic, and ensure that creative workers are free to take work when it arises without fear of losing other forms of support and protection.
Paul W Fleming, Equity General Secretary said: “Only a Minimum Income Floor for Equity members of every profession - performer, stage management, creative, variety artist, audio artist, singer, dance artists and beyond - can eliminate the precariousness of working life. Government, producers, venues and other engagers benefit from our members need to work, and to produce art and entertainment from audiences in a system where they are worried that they cannot put food on the table.
"This pandemic of precarity has to end. As this progressive idea advances in Ireland, we demand our government underpins our outstanding sector’s workforce with a Minimum Income Floor”