Work & Wellbeing The Future of Work Mayor of London

Creative UK and the Mayor of London team up to tackle inequality among freelance creatives


By Ellen Ormesher | Senior Reporter

May 26, 2022 | 4 min read

Creative UK and the Mayor of London’s Culture Team have announced a partnership to tackle systemic inequalities and to encourage under-represented groups to enter and stay in roles in the creative industries.


200,000 self-employed Londoners have been excluded from government support during the pandemic / Image via Unsplash

Freelancers make up nearly half of the jobs in the UK capital’s cultural and creative industries, but during the pandemic 60% lost all of their work. Self-employed workers are among those more exposed to the economic shock of the crisis, and at least 200,000 self-employed Londoners have subsequently been excluded from government support.

Before Covid-19, the creative sector contributed £115.9bn in GVA nationally, growing four times faster than the economy overall and in every part of the UK. Since 2011, employment in the sector had grown by 35%, three times the national average, to over 2 million jobs. There is huge potential as well as risk, but the fragility of the freelance model, which the creative industries rely on heavily, was revealed at the advent of the pandemic when many parts of the creative industries swiftly experienced a large drop in their volume of work and were left unsupported.

As Evy Cauldwell French, development and partnerships manager, impact and change, Creative UK, explained: “Creative freelancers working throughout London continue to face an unequal playing field, with many sadly choosing to leave creative occupations due to unsustainable practices. We are pleased to announce our partnership with the Mayor of London’s Culture Team, with whom we are empowering organizations and freelancers working across London’s creative economy to create a more sustainable future for our growing workforce.”

Therefore, on July 11 2022, freelancers and organizations working across London’s creative economy are invited to join Redesigning Freelance: London, where they will be given the opportunity to test, prioritize and develop ideas to help implement a more sustainable freelance model for creatives. The virtual event is open to freelancers and employers across all creative sectors, including performing arts, music, visual arts, fashion, design and screen.

The event will be an opportunity to hear from a cohort of freelancers who have been leading change for creative freelancing in London as part of City Hall’s Creative Freelancers: Shaping London’s Recovery program. This event is intended to workshop recommendations, prioritize key actions, help build momentum and agree next steps for positive and impactful change.

What are the program’s aims?

  • Produce an industry-led, freelancers-shaped proposition, committing employers to a radical new solution

  • Create a go-to freelance framework for the creative industries

This will be developed with full visibility and support from freelancers, and is designed to implement systemic change by:

  • Advocating for best practice in work and employment

  • Developing policy recommendations around freelance work

  • Signposting resources and best practice insights for freelancers and employers

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Work & Wellbeing The Future of Work Mayor of London

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