Support freelancers and the self employed, says CIF

IPSE – the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed – and the Creative Industries Federation (CIF) have come together to call for income protection for freelancers.

So far the UK government has pledged GBP330bn (€363bn) to help business owners. But in an open letter sent to prime minister Boris Johnson, CIF and IPSE warn that this will not be enough for freelancers and the self employed.

They point to two recent surveys, both of which found that freelancers and self employed people are already losing work thanks to the COVID-19 crisis.

IPSE and CIF suggest an emergency fund that gives, “time-limited and carefully targeted cash grant to the self-employed businesses and freelancers that need it most.” A similar programme has already begun in Norway, where the government has said it will pay self-employed people 80% of their income.

CIF CEO Caroline Norbury said: “With the closure of many theatres, cinemas, venues and cultural spaces this week, many creative freelancers have had their work cancelled overnight. Without the right support, government measures will hit the self-employed the hardest, and not just on their bottom line: on their families and mental health. A temporary income guarantee is urgently needed.”

Added Andy Chamberlain, director of policy at IPSE: “ We are calling on prime minister Boris Johnson to set up a temporary income protection fund to keep our smallest businesses afloat during this crisis. This should give a time-limited, targeted cash injection to the freelance businesses that are struggling most. It is a significant ask, but it is what is needed to keep this vital sector going through these grave and unprecedented times.”