Freelancers Survey – Time for a Voice

The Creative Industries Federation has just issued a survey for freelancers.

Why should you, as a freelancer, fill it in – apart from the fact that it’ll only take 10-15 minutes?

  1. We freelancers are, according to Creative Skillset, 43% of the Creative industries workforce – yet we have no national voice.
  2. The government is in the middle of a consultation (Green Paper) for the UK’s new industrial strategy . One focus is the Creative Industries – we need to be heard if we are to benefit from this.
  3. Most of us work alone, with little effective financial, material, or training support – this will only change if we ask for more.

Last year the government estimated we were only 10% of the workforce until the above figures came out. This shows how little we are seen, or heard, by people who shape our taxes, our industry networks, our working conditions, and our training opportunities.

Fill in this survey – it does only take 1o-15 minutes, (once you have read it through) and start to create a noise, which will help shape our futures.  It is confidential, and all information given is protected under the Data Protection Act 1998.

To help you fill in the survey here are some notes on the key questions.

Qu. 4. If you are not a member of the Creative Industries Federation you can state that BCre8ive is the Federation member who sent you this survey.

Qu. 6. You can tick as many sectors as you wish.

Qu. 8-12. There is a ‘prefer not to say’ option if you do not want to reply to some potentially sensitive info e.g. age.

Qu. 16. Probably the most sensitive question – how much do you earn? Again you can state ‘prefer not to say’. However, the ranges are large and if we are to make the case for financial support, and improvements in tax etc. we need to know some general income figures, which we can put in front of people. So please, if you can, select the range which covers you.  It does not matter if it is £100 or £100,000 plus, what matters is we have an idea how much freelancers are actually earning.

Qu. 17. The proportion which you earn as self-employed. Many freelancers work under PAYE in one job, and then earn/work as freelancer as well. It is this we need to have a sense of. Part-time – often referred to as portfolio working, is normal for creative people, but  is largely hidden from industry statistics. This is your chance to reveal it.

Qu. 18. How many contracts per year?   We remember all the big contracts! The big issue here is all the small one-off payments you might receive for a lecture, a small job, appearing at an event, which often make up the bulk of your work. Please include in your total number every single one you can remember or can check on – or estimate an annual number based on past years’ activities.

Qu.20. Have you done unpaid work in the past year? This means unpaid creative work, which includes all pitch documents, presentations, instagram portfolios, spec writing; unpaid performances etc.

Qu. 21. Do you supplement your freelance income within the creative industries by working in other creative sectors – just list relevant sector e.g. visual arts, publishing.

Qu.22. Details of self employed/freelance work outside the creative industries need be no more than a job title e.g. part-time shop assistant; teacher; heating engineer; civil servant, care assistant.

Qu.23.  There are thousands of media and arts graduates a year in the UK . How much have the universities and colleges supported you since you graduated – assuming you did!

Qu.24. For most freelancers the answer to ‘training in the last year?’ will be none – please make sure you say this. It is an area for future investment.

Qu.25. This is all about access to the industry. How did you start, and how do you obtain new work?

Qu.26. Most of us use computers at home or on the move. The question is do we need special creative hubs like Regus, or Workspace buildings; or access to specialist equipment e.g. Adobe editing suite, or cheap venues for performance and rehearsals? Or in this digital age would an online freelance network, and digital support be more appropriate?

Qu.27 This is all about support where you are. If you are miles from a large town or  city how can you be supported in your work. If in a large town or city how can your situation be improved?

Qu.28. Protecting your IP rights has been a big issue for many decades. So think a little wider.  Could the traditional contracts you sign be changed for the better? Should your spec work be treated as an ‘investment’ and therefore valued in a share of profits or rights ownership?

Qu.29. Feel free to raise anything which you think can improve the lot of creatives.

Qu.30. Yes it is confidential so if you do want to talk about it, please let them know.

This entry was posted in Creative industries, Creative Policy, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.