The U.K. public-service broadcasters BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Channel 5 and S4C have come together to ask the government to work with them to support freelancers working in the broadcasting industry during this challenging period amid the coronavirus outbreak.
In a joint letter to the Chancellor signed by all the PSBs, the broadcasters highlight the value of freelancers to the success of the U.K.’s creative industries and urge the government “to provide a package of support to freelancers.” Creative industries contribute over £100 billion to the U.K. economy, the letter asserts. Of the creative workers in film and TV, 50 percent of those engaged in screen production are freelancers, “so it is true to say that the global success and reputation of the U.K. creative industries depend on them.”
The PSBs offer to work with the government to “help you identify a package of measures that would provide for a level of income protection and access to statutory sick pay for the freelance community in our industry as a matter of urgency.”
The letter is signed by Tony Hall, director-general of BBC; Carolyn McCall, CEO of ITV; Alex Mahon, CEO of Channel 4; Maria Kyriacou, president for the U.K. and Australia at ViacomCBS Networks International; and Owen Evans, CEO of S4C.