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August 24, 2020 |

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UK TV industry pledges freelancer support

Adeel Amini

The UK’s major broadcasters and industry bodies have pledged to hold quarterly discussions to find solutions to the problems faced by screen industry freelancers out of work due to the pandemic.

Broadcasters including the BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Channel 5, Sky, STV and UKTV, as well as the union Bectu and industry bodies Pact, Film and TV Charity, ScreenSkills, The TV Collective, Directors UK, Share My Telly Job, Disabled People In TV, Viva La PD, The Unit List and Women in Film and TV have formed the TV Coalition For Change.

The coalition agreed to meet every three months to discuss how to improve working practices for freelancers, with the first meeting to take place at the end of September or early October and continuing every quarter until December 2021. The meetings will be co-ordinated by Adeel Amini from the TV Mindset, an organisation that works to support the mental health of industry freelancers.

The agreement was unveiled at the Edinburgh TV Festival yesterday, with the coalition signing a statement of intent that: “We believe every freelancer working in our industry deserves decent working conditions and that we should all advocate a culture that promotes respect, professionalism and investment in people.

“The best creative content will come from an industry that puts people first, celebrates difference and enables us all to thrive. Ours is an industry made up of a huge range of different companies, broadcasters and talented people, and we all have a role to play in shaping the way we work.”

Amini commented: “The Covid crisis has brought freelancer issues into sharp focus, as well as the precarious nature of our industry as a whole. It is critical that we don’t emerge from this the same way we went in, and I believe that future change can only be achieved by having the entire industry working together.”

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