It’s freelance month in the NUJ
THE NUJ has announced that July is to be National Freelance Month, and branches around the UK and Ireland are being urged to get involved. There has been considerable focus on redundancies across the industry, but while staffers have been losing their jobs many freelances have also lost work - often to a devastating extent.
"Some freelances have seen their entire income wiped out overnight," says Freelance Organiser John Toner. "Unlike employees, though, freelances have no statutory right to notice or a redundancy payment. "
The NUJ has been campaigning for improved rights for freelance workers, and all NUJ branches are asked to lobby at local level on such issues as notice, redundancy, sick pay and maternity/paternity allowance. Equally important is the call for a statutory right for freelance workers to be represented by a trade union for collective bargaining purposes.
Said Toner: "To achieve these aims will be a mammoth task, and we will require the support of other unions and organisations that represent freelances."
"But," Toner notes, "the horrendous cutbacks over the past year have made more people aware of just how vulnerable freelances are."