UK Music has called on the Government to protect self-employed workers in the music industry ahead of changes to Universal Credit next month.
Changes to ‘surplus earnings’ coming into effect on April 9 could affect many of the 675,000 creative industry workers who are self-employed.
UK Music has written to the government to outline the concerns about the measures.
Self-employed people, such as musicians, artists, managers, producers and concert crews who are prone to fluctuating finances could be taken off the benefit after months where they earn more than £2,500. They may also receive vastly reduced benefits in future months - and this threshold could be reduced to just £300 in a year’s time.
The live sector could be hardest hit as festival workers depend on seasonal pay.
UK Music CEO Michael Dugher said: “Self-employment is at the heart of what is Britain’s £4.4 billion music industry. We should be making life easier, not harder, for self-employed people in the industry. To get this policy right, the Government should commit from the outset to maintaining the £2,500 threshold for at least the first two years and urgently review the Minimum Income Floor.”
According to DCMS Sectors Economic Estimates, self-employed people represent 34.47% of the creative industries sector’s workforce, and 14.8% of the total UK workforce.
By Allison Miller