Written evidence submitted by J Glaus

I am a freelance Production Assistant within the TV/Film/Commercials industry. I have been unable to earn any money for the last 2 months due to Covid 19 and the terrible effect it has had on our industry. It looks unlikely that I will be able to gain any work or make any money within the foreseeable future.

I am unable to get any help from the govt through the self-employment scheme as I have only just finished my first financial year of being self-employed. I will be doing my first self assessment over the coming weeks but there is no help available to me.

Furthermore much of our work is done on short term PAYE basis with several companies, we have no control over those that choose do employ us as PAYE or Self-employed. How am I supposed to pay my rent, buy food? There is nothing available to help me even though I have spent many years paying taxes to our country. I understand that there will be people that fall through the cracks but this seems like the majority of those that are self-employed are left without any help.

So many freelancers in the creative industries still fall short and whilst I believe the government may have shown the full extent of the support they are willing to offer those operating as limited companies, we need to offer up working examples to highlight every case, every gap. It may be that you are fortunate to be supported but you can help by highlighting the position of those you know.

It makes no sense that the Job Retention Scheme places no cap on full-time employee salaries yet the self-employed are capped at £50K to be entitled to support. There are no Bounce Back loans for the self-employed, no life lines for those more recently freelance and those who work on short term PAYE contracts.

May 2020