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The arts collective has received funding from Arts Council England to facilitate a committee who will create a Freelance Working Agreement of best practice for employers and employees to sign up to and use.
Self-employed workers make up a large percentage of people working in the Arts. The coronavirus pandemic has highlighted some of the challenges and issues faced by freelancers working in the industry, including late payment, last-minute cancellations and a lack of support for workers in and out of employment.
The committee will work towards creating a document that promotes a fair working environment for freelance workers when hired and will be made up of Merseyside organisations and individual freelancers. Over the next few months, March for the Arts will also gather the stories and experiences of the wider freelance community in order to inform the work of the committee and help shape the agreement.
“Freelance workers are very vulnerable to poor working practice; they often face problems with poor communication, inaccessible or unclear hiring practice, lack of contracts, last minute work cancellations, and no official channels for support at work.
“2020 has highlighted and exacerbated this existing problem, particularly in the art sector, which relies on freelancers more than any other industry.
“Being a part of our Freelance Working Agreement Committee is an opportunity to get around the table with a diversity of players from creative industries and to shape the way freelancers are treated and valued for the future.”
The working agreement is part of a wider project that also includes the formation of a free to use Freelance Directory, which will help to honour practices included in the agreement by making hiring and job seeking a much more practical, accessible and open process.
Applications for individual committee places open at 10am on Wednesday 10 February. March for the Arts is looking for a diverse range of freelance workers of all disciplines, including experienced artists and practitioners, as well as emerging artists, workers and graduates. Individual freelancers will receive payment for their time on the committee.
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