SDUK Statement re. freelance workforce

As the Executive Director of Stage Directors UK I am dismayed that the Chancellor’s plans to offer economic support to the nation through the current worldwide crisis offer little protection for the self employed.

There is a stark contrast between the governments plan to protect 80% of an employees wages and the basic universal credit offering for the self employed.

The means testing for universal credit is unfair, as anything the self employed have managed to save is for their tax bill or for their mortgages counts against them when applying for universal credit. None of this means testing applies to employees.  

On top of this the decision to postpone the July tax bill until January 2021 is a financial catastrophe waiting to happen. It may offer some short term relief for a few, but it is plunging the self-employed workforce into crippling debt. It will take considerably longer than 6 months for the self employed to get back on their feet financially. By deferring payments without offering stronger and more comprehensive support alongside deferrals then we will see much of the self employed workforce going bankrupt in 12 months time. 

As the majority of our membership is self employed we are already seeing many members contacting us with huge concerns for their financial future.

We are joining with our colleagues at Equity in fighting for the financial protection of our members who are part of an industry decimated by the current worldwide crisis. 

We are being told that there may well be more measures to be announced for the self employed in due course, and so we urge all members to get in touch with their MP’s and lobby them for better representation 

Starting next week SDUK will also be offering bespoke online surgeries for directors who have been hit by the current crisis. We will help connect directors up to any support available to them.

In the mean time there is a regularly updated set of links for help on our website


Thomas Hescott