A Charter for freelances

THE CHARTER of Freelance Rights produced by the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) opens by stating that "Freelances are the most vulnerable workers in the media sector". It covers the right to join a trade union, to a written contract, to authors' rights, to the same professional rights as an employee. It specifically calls for "fake or forced freelances" - given freelance status just to save a media group money - to have the same rights and benefits as employees. The Charter demands "decent fees" that do not "undermine the positions of staff through providing cheap work". The full text is here.

NUJ Freelance Organiser John Toner says, "The Charter is important as it represents what we believe freelances should have by way of minimum rights." John adds that the European Union's Green Paper on "modernising labour law" seeks to weaken the rights of workers. The trades unions seek to expand those rights for all workers in their diversity of relationships.

NUJ members should ask their Member of the European Parliament (MEP) to support the Charter and to use their positions within the Parliament to try to amend the draft legislation in line with the clauses of the Charter. You can find your MEP and contact them through www.theyworkforyou.com

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