100% online training!

Online media training sessions for our charity clients now focus on preparation for being interviewed from home using meeting software such as Zoom, Skype or MS Teams.

We’ve moved all our freelance business skills training online and are putting a particular focus on helping people move through redundancy into self-employment for the first time.

Here are some of the other changes we’ve made:


Posted on 13 March 2020

Fighting late paying clients

Happy money

Every few years there’s a new initiative to help freelancers get paid on time.

Maybe I’m getting old, but it seems to me that if these initiatives were effective, there wouldn’t need to be any new ones!

Nevertheless, it’s good to see that there’s now a Small Business Commissioner working to the BEISS (the business department).

It’s a common problem. Sometimes it’s a policy of the paying organisation to hang on to cash as much as possible. Sometimes it’s pure ineptitude and someone forgets to press a button to action your payment.


Posted on 04 May 2021

Mortgages for self-employed people

I’ve had a flurry of questions recently about whether self-employed people or PAYE freelancers can get mortgages.

The short answer is yes – but there aren’t so many options. Usually the deposit has to be bigger, and some lenders like to see the last two years worth of accounts so that they can work out a typical profit figure.

It’s a good idea to talk to a few mortgage brokers if you’re self-employed. They should be able to point you in the direction of something that fits your circumstances. Don’t just rely on the high street lenders.


Posted on 26 April 2021

2020-21 in stats

The beginning of the end of lockdown has coincided with the end of the David Thomas Media tax year.

So I’m crunching some stats from 1 April 2020 to 31 March 2021.


Number of online training sessions (Zoom fatigue, anyone?)


Posted on 01 April 2021

Farewell FEU Training. Thanks for all the fun.

FEU logo

March/April marks a change of financial year for many, and with it the coming and going of various funds and budgets.

It’s a time when posts are closed and people move through a redundancy process into the next stage of their careers. Hence our monthly Beyond Redundancy: Setting up as a Sole Trader courses.

This year feels more poignant than most, as the effects of Brexit and Conservative policies are landing in parts of the creative industries. And that’s even before we look at the effects of the pandemic.

FEU Training (England)


Posted on 01 April 2021

Tax changes announced in Budget: March 2021.

Tax buttons on calculator

I always listen carefully to the changes announced in budget statements. It feels personal purely because I need to change all my training materials.

So what was announced on 3 March 2021?

Income tax

This is how PAYE people get their income taxed, and it’s also how profits are taxed for sole traders.

The personal allowance – how much you are allowed to earn before you pay income tax – is up to £12,570 (from £12,500) from 6 April 2021.


Posted on 03 March 2021

Budget: March 2021 – Coronavirus support for freelancers

There are three types of freelancer in the creative industries. This post looks at how announcements made by Chancellor Rishi Sunak on 3 March 2021 affect each type. It focuses on coronavirus support.

Three types of freelancer

For an outline of each type of freelancer, go here >

Read about announced tax changes in my separate post >

Sole Trader Freelancers

Sole trader

What’s new


Posted on 03 March 2021

Brexit for freelancers

Image by Tumisu from Pixabay

Now that the formalities of leaving the European Union are behind us it’s time to unpick the practical effects and what it means for people who freelance in the creative industries.


Posted on 07 January 2021

SEISS Grant 3 available – but you might want to wait

The third coronavirus support grant for sole traders is available from today (30 November 2020) until 29 January 2021.
See full details on: gov.uk >

sole trader

This grant covers three months and, like grant 1, is based on 80% of average monthly profits calculated on sole trader profits between 2016 and 2019.

Much has been made of the fact that the eligibility criteria haven’t changed. If you were helped by the first two grants you’re probably eligible for this one too. Cold comfort for all those who’ve had no support since March.

And just to state the obvious, none of the SEISS grants support single directors of limited companies. In government-speak, directors of limited companies do not fall within the definition of a ‘sole trader’.

Less well publicised has been the addition of further restrictions. These take the form of declarations and predictions that a sole trader now has to make.


Posted on 30 November 2020

IR35 – new HMRC information and guidance

Tax buttons on calculator

From April 2021 the decision on whether someone is truly working for themselves – or is simply an employee in disguise – shifts from the freelancer to the end client in some circumstances.

If you run a limited company this could mean changes to the way tax is paid for some of the jobs you do.


Posted on 30 October 2020

Freelancers and Rishi Sunak’s ‘Winter Economy Plan’

This post has been updated following changes announced on 22 October 2020

The Chancellor’s statement today (Thursday 24 September) is a response to the fact that COVID-19 is not going away.

Rishi Sunak

He talked about a “permanent adjustment” to the economy and a need to deal with a “new normal”.

He needed to replace existing support with something more sustainable.

So what do his new measures mean for freelancers?


Posted on 24 September 2020