Urgent message for all TV freelancers – do you think your working life would benefit from some changes?

If so Share My Telly Job want to hear from you – but make it now!

Freelancers: We need your comments and thoughts..(email: speaktous@smtj.tv)

Over the weekend SMTJ (Share My Telly Job) is working on a proposal for a change in employment policy for freelancers across the industry.

We held a meeting on Friday with three of the main broadcasters along with The Talent Manager to talk about how, if the industry has any hopes of retaining its talent through this crisis, then current working practices have to change.

We realise that there are a huge proportion of freelancers who will now be unable to work full-time due to enforced caring commitments with many of us now solely responsible for the care and welfare of our children, relatives and friends.

We are proposing that freelancers need to be allowed to work flexibly through job sharing, condensed hours/days, remotes working and part time roles in a way that allows them to return to work in some capacity and generate even a small income which will keep their families afloat until normality is restored. These are policies and working practices offered to staff which need to be rolled out to freelancers.

The meeting was very positive and all broadcasters agreed that now is the time for change, understanding and learning if we want to retain the industries freelance talent.

In times of uncertainty and doubt we can be reassured that the freelance workforce does has a voice and now is the time to get yourselves heard.

What we need to know is how your ability to work over the next 6 months will be affected.

Will returning to work full time during this period be impossible, will flexibility in your job help you get back to work?

Would you feel reassured that if you knew you would be considered in a variety of genres – not limited programmes similar to the last three credits on your CV?

Would a pledge to employ people based on the merit of their CV and their references rather than their personal connection to and employer help the feeling of fairness in hiring?

Will you be encouraged to ride out the immediate storm knowing that when production returns, fairer working practices for freelancers will be employed by inde’s and enforced by the broadcasters?

Is it longer contracts, more lead up time, or just the need to know that working rights for freelancers are being monitored and reported in a more fair way?

Would you consider sharing a contract with a friend to ease the financial burden in the interim or is it imperative that you keep the contract and earn the money?

Is this your time to leave time to leave the industry, has it become completely unworkable for you now?

Tell us what will help you stay in the industry, how you will need to work, the hurdles that have been prohibitive in your career and what changes you would hope to see moving forward.

We have the ear of the broadcasters and two days to turn this around – so please take a minute to send your thoughts to: speaktous@smtj.tv or post comments below. All comments emailed will be anonymous if requested.

Many thanks

Louise, Michelle & Natalie