Covid-19: Advice for directors

The international outbreak of Covid-19 (Novel Coronavirus) will undoubtedly affect the lives of working directors and their creative colleagues. It’s business as usual for SDUK, as we work remotely and can keep an eye on all advice and updates as they come in. Any members with questions or seeking reassurance, please read the advice below, and get in touch with us if you want to bring anything to our attention.

For the most current advice, please consult Public Health England (PHE – they update their guidelines at 2pm every day) for domestic updates, and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) information for those travelling (or returning from travelling) for work.

We would urge Directors to follow the precautions suggested by the NHS to avoid catching or spreading Covid-19, namely:

  • Wash your hands with soap and water often, do this for at least 20 seconds
  • Always wash your hands when you get home or into work
  • Use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze
  • Put used tissues in the bin straight away and wash your hands afterwards
  • Try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell
  • Don’t touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean

Guidelines around self-isolation and social distancing have changed in recent days. It is no longer recommended to travel or convene for anything but essential services. Schools are now closed to all but the most vulnerable children, and those of essential keyworkers. Please consult the advice for individuals and businesses about staying home, HERE

As the majority of working directors are self-employed, the risk of a public ‘lock-down’ is understandably worrying in terms of protecting income and rights within the companies who contract them. Please consult freelancer-specific guidance from the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed (IPSE). There is also a useful thread on all things financial at Money Saving Expert. On 26 March, the Government announced the measures they are putting in place to secure self-employed workers’ income. You can read more about those measures HERE. We are very aware that a number of Directors will not meet the eligibility criteria for these grants. Please contact SDUK who will feed back your situation to Equity, who are gathering industry feedback to present to the Treasury.

Equity has recently published Director and Designer-specific advice, which can be downloaded HERE.

Arts Council England posted their support and advice for funded companies and projects, HERE

Arts Council Wales statement is HERE

Creative Scotland information HERE

Improbable Theatre have gathered together an amazing resource of initiatives and funds for theatre makers and artists struggling with the financial consequences of Covid-19. You can view that HERE.

If you are in severe financial difficulty due to cancelled contracts/events, please contact the Directors’ Charitable Foundation to see if you qualify for their Welfare fund.