DACS represents visual artists at All-Party Writers Group roundtable on the need for a Freelancer Commissioner

    Yesterday, DACS took part in a roundtable with the All-Party Writers Group (APWG), to discuss the need for a dedicated Freelancer Commissioner to represent freelance workers.

    The roundtable was chaired by Giles Watling MP and heard from artist Charlotte Warne Thomas, journalist Anna Codrea Rado, and representatives from the Authors’ Licensing and Collecting Society (ALCS), Creative UK, The Society of Authors and The Writers Guild.

    Charlotte Warne Thomas spoke about aspects of the freelancer workforce that are overlooked by UK policymakers: “We’re looking at a situation where visual artists, and I’m sure other freelancers too, are juggling a small income they get from their creative practice with other sources of income. European countries are well ahead of us on this in terms of supporting the creative freelancer workforce. The city of Berlin has just put forward more money than the whole of the UK for visual arts funding.”

    Reema Selhi, Head of Policy and International at DACS, spoke about the government support that freelancers often miss out on: “A lot of artists earn far below the minimum wage. The cost of being an artist is expensive, you need studio space, you need materials etc. Public support, such as Arts Council funding, too often goes into bricks and mortar and waged employees, and far too little finds its way down to the freelance individuals who are actually producing the creative content.”

    Concluding the Roundtable, Giles Watling gave the campaign his full support: “I intend to become a champion on creating a Freelancer Commissioner. I will push forward on this.”

    Posted on 15/11/2023 by Joanne Milmoe