Get the law on our side

FREELANCE WORKERS should be better protected in law and their needs must drive more public policy discussion - that is the claim from the Freelance Industrial Council that will be put to the NUJ's Delegate Meeting.

Geneva - photo © Tim Dawson

Geneva, home of the International Labour Organization

The motion, which will be considered when NUJ activists gather in Southport this April, would commit the NUJ to bringing together a new coalition of unions and other progressive bodies to force freelance issues onto the mainstream political agenda. It builds on the emphasis on self-employed workers by Jeremy Corbyn in one of his earliest speeches as Labour leader.

"The NUJ needs to work with politicians across the political spectrum in all the countries where we organise", said Tim Dawson, who represents freelance members on the NUJ's National Executive. "But we also need fresh alliances in civic society. In the popular imagination, building tradesmen epitomise the 'self-employed', but freelances know that their world encompasses far more than just plumbing and electrics.

"Equity (the actors' union) for example, now has a freelance dancers' network". The motion also calls for the NUJ to push for the International Labour Organization to adopt a "convention" on "atypical workers", as freelances are sometimes called.

This could require governments to ensure that freelances are fairly treated. Members can find full text of all motions for Delegate Meeting on the NUJ's website near

Last modified: 15 Feb 2016 - © 2016 contributors
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