#ForgottenFreelances: FEU provides seven solutions to protect creative freelances
18 April 2020
The Federation of Entertainment Unions represents more than 120,000 people working in the entertainment and creative industries. We are actors, journalists, theatre workers, musicians, writers, entertainers, production crew, directors, designers and many other professions.
- Parents and Carers: adapt the SEISS to incorporate a declaration for those with gaps in income to exclude those years of self-assessments to account for maternity/parental/caring responsibilities.
- Those who fall below the 50 per cent of self-employed income threshold to qualify for SEISS: enable HMRC to assess all income, PAYE and turnover through self-employment to give a more accurate picture of earnings.
- Those who regularly work PAYE contracts as their main source of income but were not in a contract on 28th February and did not start another contract immediately after that date: this is by far the biggest issue for PAYE freelancers. A potential solution would be for the Treasury to set up a new Freelance Worker Income Support Scheme using the PAYE data they have to calculate average earnings for people who declare as ‘PAYE freelancers’ and compensate them at the 80per cent rate directly without going through an employer’s payroll system (this could be done like a tax rebate).
- New graduates/new entrants into the industry: allow new entrants to complete a tax return now to HMRC for the period that they have been working in 2019-20 or assess them as having an assumed income to enable receipt of the capped 80per cent monthly amount of £2500.
- Limited Companies/Personal Service Companies: allow dividends to be included in the SEISS alongside furloughing for the PAYE element of income through the CJRS.
- Income and expenses fluctuations: remove the £50,000 cap to provide parity with PAYE workers and assess turnover rather than profits.
- D/deaf and disabled workers: provide clarity that SEISS payments will not compromise the receipt of other welfare payments.
We would welcome discussions with you and your advisors at the earliest opportunity to take forward these suggestions and hope that together we can deliver the best possible support for creative workers.