The government has taken steps to safeguard the income of employees, to a large degree. But there has been no equivalent action to mitigate the hardship inevitable for the five million freelance and self-employed people in this country.
Freelances, particularly in the media, are often used for ad hoc jobs where a company has a short-term requirement for extra staffing. These are the first jobs to disappear in a downturn.
Most freelances understand that jobs come and go, and that there will be good times and bad times. Many accept this as the trade-off for flexibility, or for being able to work in a field they love. But these are exceptional times.
Freelances, through no fault of their own, now face an immediate and severe impact on their livelihoods and many are already experiencing significant distress as a result.
The government has recognised the need to support salaried employees, and it should do the same for freelances.
The Guild of Motoring Writers
23 March 2020