Film and Television: Self-employed

Department for Culture, Media and Sport written question – answered am ar 14 Mai 2024.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Baroness Benjamin Baroness Benjamin Democratiaid Rhyddfrydol

To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of figures showing that 68 per cent of freelancers in the television and film industry are no longer able to find employment; and of the impact on the UK creative industries.

Photo of Baroness Benjamin Baroness Benjamin Democratiaid Rhyddfrydol

To ask His Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to prevent a decline in the UK television and film industry as a result of high numbers of workers leaving the industry because they are unable to make a living.

Photo of Baroness Benjamin Baroness Benjamin Democratiaid Rhyddfrydol

To ask His Majesty's Government whether they have any plans to appoint a commissioner for freelancers.

Photo of Baroness Benjamin Baroness Benjamin Democratiaid Rhyddfrydol

To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact of (1) reduced budgets, (2) loss of advertising revenue, and (3) a changing production landscape, on the UK television and film sector; and what steps they are taking to incentivise people to work in the sector.

Photo of Baroness Benjamin Baroness Benjamin Democratiaid Rhyddfrydol

To ask His Majesty's Government what is their long-term strategy to preserve the UK television and film industry and provide employment security for its workers; and what consideration they have given to a freelancer pension scheme or fund, similar to the French model.

Photo of Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)

His Majesty’s Government has a clear plan to grow the creative industries by a further £50 billion and another 1 million jobs by 2030. This was set out in June 2023 in the Creative Industries Sector Vision, which was accompanied by £77 million of new funding to support the sector’s growth. This is in addition to the range of tax reliefs for the creative industries which have been introduced or expanded since 2010, including for film and television.

HM Government is already taking steps to ensure a strong, skilled and resilient workforce for the film and television sector – as well as the creative industries more broadly – across the UK. The Creative Industries Sector Vision set out that by 2030 we want to deliver on our creative careers promise to build a pipeline of talent into the sector, and to support the creation of a million extra jobs. The Sector Vision includes a long-term strategy to improve the quality of jobs and working practices in the sector, including supporting the high proportion of self-employed workers in the sector through the promotion of fair treatment, support networks, and resources (for example through Creative UK’s ‘Redesigning Freelancing’ initiative).

HM Government also welcomes the steps that our public service broadcasters have taken to support self-employed workers. This includes the support announced by Channel 4 and the BBC in August, in partnership with the National Film and Television School.

DCMS and the industry have also committed to produce an action plan in response to the Creative Industries Policy and Evidence Centre’s Good Work Review; these actions include the recent launch of the British Film Institute’s £1.5 million Good Work Programme for screen. HM Government will continue to work with the BFI and the Screen Sector Skills Task Force to support a strong skills pipeline into the sector.

On pensions, the new State Pension supports self-employed freelancers as comprehensively as employed people. The new State Pension, introduced in 2016, means that self-employed people can receive a State Pension which is around £2,700 a year higher than it would have been in the previous system. The self-employed are a highly diverse group with varying incomes, assets, and employment experiences. The Department for Work & Pensions has undertaken an initial research and trial programme to test different approaches aimed at increasing private pension-saving. It is currently working with research partners, including looking at international evidence, to explore the feasibility of building and testing retirement savings solutions in digital platforms used by self-employed people to manage their money.

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