Freelancers

Freelancers

This page signposts to a variety of organisations, initiatives and resources created to support freelancers. There is also a section on recent research and data concerning freelancers in the creative industries.

We welcome feedback and additional contributions. Please email ukt@soltukt.co.uk 

  • BECTU for freelancers - BECTU is a union representing workers in a wide variety of roles across the media and entertainment (excluding actors and musicians). BECTU's freelance branches bring together members who work on a freelance basis according to their craft or geographic location.

  • Create Britain - helps promote the work of individuals across the creative industries

  • Cultural Freelancers Wales - a diverse collective of cultural freelancers in Wales, strengthening the freelance voice and offering inclusive support to fellow freelancers. The collective carries out lobbying and policy work, offers support and resources for freelancers, development and well-being workshops, and maps the freelance community in Wales.

  • FreelanceUK - an online community providing information and news for freelancers. Their website features an interactive freelancer forum, a jobs board and a freelance directory.

  • Freelancer Club - an online community for creative freelancers with over 50,000 members. Their website features a wealth of resources, training, and a jobs board for members.

  • Freelancers Make Theatre Work - a network of self-employed and freelance workers from all areas of theatre, opera and live performance. The volunteer-led organisation campaigns to raise awareness of the vital role of freelancers in the theatre industry, provides a platform to collect the opinions and concerns of the freelance theatre workforce, offers a central resource of information for the freelance workforce and shares information and projects. The advice section of their website features a variety of practical resources for freelancers.

  • IPSE - the UK's membership body for the self-employed. IPSE provides tax, contract and legal helplines for members, a pension scheme, and a variety of training and events.

  • Stage Sight - Stage Sight run regular events for their freelance members. Green Room sessions are free online drop in spaces to connect, discuss and explore a variety of topics, and Professional Conversations give Stage Sight Organisation Members the opportunity to introduce themselves and their work to Individual Members, providing a space to discuss the organisation’s initiatives and projects alongside wider industry related topics.

Creative UK's Freelance Champions

In March 2021 the (then named) Creative Industries Federation announced its new Freelance Champions who will advise and steer the Federation’s approach to advocacy, impact and change. The group represents a diversity of experience, drawn from all parts of the UK, all subsectors and at different stages of their careers.

The purpose of the Champions are to:

  • Advocate for the creative freelance community
  • Ensure that Creative UK campaigns make every effort to give profile and visibility to the diversity and needs of creative freelancers and entrepreneurs
  • Develop ideas for a refreshed set of values for the creative industries, which gives support to all parts of the ecosystem
  • Share thoughts on where Creative UK's policy and advocacy efforts are best focused
  • Guide and inform an industry consultation on a new approach for working with creative freelancers

Over the course of 2021-22 Creative UK are conducting an industry consultation to explore the issues freelancers face, and their potential solutions, in greater detail. If you are interested in participating in these discussions, please contact Evy Cauldwell-French, Development and Partnerships Manager at Creative UK: evy.cauldwell-french@wearecreative.uk.

Theatre Artists Fund

This charitable fund was set up to provide emergency support for theatre freelance professionals in need of urgent and critical financial support due to the impact of Covid-19. New funding rounds open periodically, please check the website for details: https://theatreartists.fund

We recommend you have a look at the resource pages of the freelance support organisations' websites listed above (please see first tab), which provide a wealth of advice, guidance and support for freelancers.

Some other resources are listed below.

For freelancers

  • Freelancer Wellbeing Hub - a library of wellbeing resources to support freelancers, compiled by the Film + TV Charity.
  • IPSE webinars - an extensive catalogue of webinars available live and on demand for IPSE members. Topics covered include tax, IR35, late payment, starting out and winning work.
  • The Illustrated Freelancers Guide - a practical PDF resource for creative freelancers working in Scotland, created to help freelancers to understand their rights and best practices in avoiding and addressing difficult situations. Produced by Creative Scotland.

For organisations

  • Freelancers in the Creative Industries (May 2021) - insights for policy makers to better understand freelancers in the creative industries. Produced by the Creative Industries Policy & Evidence Centre.
  • The Big Freelancer Report (March 2021) - this research project maps the problems facing the theatre and performing arts freelance workforce following the Covid-19 pandemic and makes practical recommendations for change. Created by an independent group of performing arts freelancers, supported by Freelancers Make Theatre Work and funded by Arts Council England.
  • Freelance Practitioner Research Report (March 2021) - this report explores the needs of Northern Irish freelance artists seeking to develop, create and produce small to mid-scale work on an independent basis. Commissioned by Arts Council Northern Ireland and conducted by Annabel Jackson Associates.
  • Wales Freelance Survey 2020: Rebalancing and Reimagining (October 2020) - a study into the impact of Covid-19 on freelancers in Wales. Conducted by the Wales Freelance Taskforce (now Cultural Freelancers Wales).
  • Creative Freelancers (July 2017) - this report looks at the working life, opportunities and policy concerns of the whole creative freelance workforce. The report's recommendations aim to improve the working lives of this vital but undervalued part of the workforce. Produced by the Creative Industries Federation.
  • Theatre Workforce Review (June 2017) - a significant research project into the makeup of the theatre and performing arts workforce and its current and future training needs. Commissioned by SOLT and UK Theatre and produced by Nordicity, working with Alistair Smith of The Stage.
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