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NUJ Active 15 November 2019


The NUJ has launched a new campaign seeking holiday pay for freelance media workers. Almost nine in 10 of the NUJ’s freelance members do not get holiday pay but many freelance workers and casuals are entitled to paid leave in law. Many media workers are labelled as 'casual' or 'self-employed', but they work in ways that gives them worker status. You could be entitled to paid holiday if: 

  • You do most of your work for one organisation - you could still be eligible if you work for more than one organisation
  • You work under any contract - the contract does not have to be in writing
  • You do shifts in a workplace
  • Someone else controls your work, when and how you do it. 

The NUJ has already won an important tribunal decision over freelance holiday pay. NUJ freelance member, David Walsh, was awarded £8,360 based on his right to holiday pay. He had worked on a casual basis for Scotsman Publications Ltd for several years and although he had asked for holiday pay on several occasions, it was refused on the grounds that he was self-employed. The company relied on its standard freelance contract, which states that a freelance worker is self-employed and an independent contractor. An employment tribunal ruled that the reality of the working relationship was different, and that David met the statutory definition of 'worker'. By meeting this definition, he was entitled to paid holiday. 

If you are a freelance NUJ member and think you could be due holiday pay then contact the union’s freelance office via email:

NUJ news

In the ballot of NUJ members to decide the editor of The Journalist magazine, Christine Buckley was re-elected and the result was endorsed by the union’s national executive council on Friday 8 November. 

At the annual Claudia Jones lecture, this year Kehinde Andrews spoke of Claudia Jones as the perfect example of what radicalism is. Watch the video of the lecture on the NUJ website

Nesta has opened the Future News Fund to pilot new approaches to public interest news so communities in England can have access to reliable and accurate news about the issues that matter most to them. The fund has been established in response to the Cairncross Review and will provide grants to prototype, including grant funding for new solutions and an accelerator fund to support early-stage businesses. The NUJ's general secretary, Michelle Stanistreet, is on the advisory board for the project. Find out more information about the pilot via the NUJ website.


IMPRESS have teamed up with MRS to draft guidance on using polls and survey data, aimed to provide journalists with the tools they require to report on statistical data responsibly. The guidance document indicates warning signs of unreliable polling data, as well as best practice examples on how to responsibly report survey findings. The public consultation on the draft guidance is now open and the deadline to respond is Wednesday 20 November. 

IPSO and the Civic Journalism Lab have come together to organise a public event about fake news and trust in the media. The event starts at 18.30 and takes place on Thursday 28 November at Newcastle University. Speakers include Hannah Chapman the Editor of the Northern Echo, Cllr Nick Forbes the Leader of Newcastle City Council, Sir Alan Moses chair of IPSO and Jamie Macaskill the Digital Editor at Grimsby Live and Scunthorpe Live. For more information and to book your place visit Eventbrite.


The Federation of Entertainment Unions have organised a series of training events including getting fit for freelancing in London on Thursday 21 November aimed at media workers who are 30 or under. This workshop will look at the challenges that most freelances experience and help develop strategies to survive and thrive as a creative freelance. The second event will focus on dealing with uncertainty and it will be a webinar starting at 11.00 on Tuesday 26 November. The webinar will share tips and strategies to help manage the downsides of uncertainty while remaining optimistic and open to potential opportunities. The third session focuses on getting started with vlogging in London on Wednesday 4 December and this workshop will focus on how to vlog, i.e., to film, edit and upload short videos to YouTube and how it can help support a creative career. The last session is called click into Instagram and takes place in London on Thursday 5 December. The workshop will demonstrate how Instagram can be an effective platform to showcase creative work. For more information about each of the events and to book your place, visit the FEU website.

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