Published on: 05 March 2020 in Industry
Coronavirus: Advice for Directors UK members
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COVID-19, a type of Coronavirus, has affected countries around the world including the UK. As well as potentially affecting your physical health, it has disrupted everyday working practices — particularly for those working in a freelance capacity.
Below we have compiled expert resources and advice on dealing with the virus, from both health and employment standpoints. Rest assured, we are monitoring the situation and updating members as and when we have any further advice specific to directors and freelancers.
As a preventative measure, Directors UK has made the decision to close our offices and suspend all scheduled events until further notice. All our staff are working from home and can be contacted via email as normal. We ask that during this busy period you please contact Directors UK via email wherever possible, so we can ensure that your query is dealt with promptly.
While there are a number of financial support schemes available to freelancers, and Directors UK welcomes these schemes, it remains the case that many of our members and other self-employed workers are still being overlooked – in particular, self-employed workers operating as Ltd companies and those earning above a certain amount. Alongside our partners within the industry, we are lobbying the Government and continue to make the case for more wide-ranging support. We will update our members with any further information on this.
If you have any questions that aren’t addressed by the below, please email us at email@example.com.
- We have compiled our answers to any frequently asked questions that relate to Directors UK, employment rules specific to directors and freelancers, and travel. Read our FAQ page here.
- The British Film Commission have produced return-to-work guidelines for film and high-end TV production that have also been approved by the Government. These guidlines are “advisory not mandatory” and include proposals such as providing COVID-19 safety training for all crew, taking each crew member’s temperature twice a day, and having a dedicated supervisor for each production.
- The broadcasters and Pact have prepared some general TV production guidelines, giving top-level recommendations for returning to work, including measures such as reducing the number of people required on site, making editorial changes to increase distances between cast and participants, and putting in place additional health precautions. They have also produced an additional guideline document following the relaxation of the 2-metre rule.
Coronavirus and work
- The Government has announced their Winter Economy Plan, including updates to the SEISS. Find out more here.
- The deadline for the current iteration of Self Employment Income Support Sscheme is 19 October. Find out more about applying.
- BECTU have called on anyone experiencing discrimination at work linked to COVID-19 to report to their employer. If you have experienced this or have any questions, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- The government have published their response to Coronavirus online, including guidance on travel.
- Business debtline have provided some useful advice and help for sole traders and businesses.
- Money Savings Expert offers useful financial advice across a broad range of issues.
- The government-established Money Advice Service offers free and impartial financial guidance.
- The government has developed a business support finder tool.
- The Citizens Advice Service offers guidance across benefits, work, debts, housing and law.
Coronavirus and wellbeing
- The NHS have a dedicated page on the symptoms and risk levels of Coronavirus.
- Washing your hands is key to combatting the spread of Coronavirus. The NHS have published a guide to proper hand-washing technique.
- BECTU have written about where to find advice on Coronavirus if you are not based in the UK.
- Mind have provided advice on coping with Coronavirus from a mental health perspective.
- You can also read the latest advice from Public Health England here.
- Creative Scotland has collected a resource page with advice tailored towards freelancers based in Scotland.
- The Film & TV Charity Support line is offering emotional support, practical sign-posting and support grants for those experiencing significant financial difficulty.
Urgent Financial Assistance
- The Film & TV Charity have launched a hardship fund aimed at preserving the diverse talent pipeline. Deadline for applications 12 October — find out more.
- Members experiencing hardship can contact our sister charity, the Directors Charitable Foundation. Find out about the Directors Charitable Foundation here.
Financial Assistance — Nation/Region Specific
- Bristol – Small Business Grant Fund
- Liverpool Film Office Development Fund
- Leeds Indie TV and Film Development Fund
- England - LEP Growth Hubs – COVID-19 Business Support
- Screen Scotland Hardship Fund.
- Northern Ireland Executive support
- Support for the culture, creative and sport sector in Wales
- Ffilm Cymru has announced a COVID-19 support package
- The Welsh government are launching a cultural recovery fund grant on Monday 5 October. Find out more.