The acting CEO of UK Music has demanded better protection for self-employed workers in the industry amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
The call follows a statement made by Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Chancellor Rishi Sunak yesterday (March 20), in which Sunak announced a coronavirus job retention scheme, where the government will pay up to 80% of wages for those at risk of being laid off due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Self-employed people, however, will only be able to access Universal Credit at a rate equivalent to statutory sick pay for employees.
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Releasing a statement, UK Music CEO Tom Kiehl said: “While we welcome the much-needed help for those who are traditionally employed, the Government’s proposals fall far short of the lifeline needed by the self-employed in the music industry and creative sector.
“The Government should urgently look at setting up a Temporary Income Protection Fund for self-employed workers and freelancers.
— UK Music (@UK_Music) March 20, 2020
Kiehl continued: “The self-employed make up around 72% of the music industry and are a vital part of its success. They should be offered the same help as other workers who will get 80% of wages up to £2,500 a month if they cannot work due to the coronavirus pandemic.”
“Many self-employed are facing an immensely difficult time and are worried about putting food on the table, paying their rent or mortgage and other bills. The Government has talked about doing the right thing. It must now do the right thing and help protect the self-employed and freelancers.”
UK Music is “a company that represents the collective interests of the UK’s commercial music industry – from artists, musicians, songwriters and composers, to record labels, music managers, music publishers, studio producers and music licensing organisations.” Members include PRS For Music, the Association of Independent Music (AIM) and more.