I and my NUJ colleagues have been busy collating case studies of freelance journalists whose livelihoods have been crushed in the coronavirus emergency. Unlike employees, freelances are not entitled to sick pay or other benefits, and in many cases order books are completely empty following client cancellations of previously agreed commissions.
A few publishers such as the Guardian and Sky News are reported to be continuing to paying freelances and casuals, so hats off to them. Otherwise, for the five milion self-employed workers in the British Isles the situation is pretty grim.
My MP, Oliver Heald QC, tells me that next week he expects the government to announce a support package for the self-employed. Let’s hope Sir Oliver is right.