21 March 2020
Adrian Pegg, on behalf of the Facebook employment and support group ‘People Who Are Available For Work In TV’
Dear Sir / Madam,
In the late 1980s and 90s our industry changed. It moved from a secure staff workforce to a largely self-employed and freelance workforce. Since then all UK Broadcasters have benefited from reduced overheads, and no direct liabilities for sick pay, redundancy, maternity/paternity leave and so on. The workforce has responded by working flexibly and as required for the Independent Production Companies that sprang up to take your commissions.
In the last few weeks Broadcasters have cancelled commissions, Indies have ceased all production and laid off almost all of their freelancers. Work has consequently entirely dried up for the tens of thousands of people who have loyally supported you for years.
It has become apparent that while the government is rightly supporting employees and businesses with staff (including yours), freelancers have no-one to guarantee their income and at present will only have access to a pittance. Many can’t survive and will have to leave the industry. There are freelancers who are PAYE but can’t access the 80% guarantee because they have no single employer.
When you restart commissioning you will need a workforce to be ready and waiting. So how are you planning to support the hard working professionals who make the programmes you will once again rely on?
Line Producer https://www.facebook.com/groups/availableforworkintv/