Using a visualiser as a second camera for online training – video (captioned)

This is one for anyone who’s training online. I’m demo-ing how to use a USB visualiser, and how to turn your smart phone into a visualiser on the cheap. In the video I’m using: Hue HD Pro > EpocCam HD >


Posted on 17 July 2020

Support for theatre and the arts

First two bits of good news: The government has announced a large amount of money for the arts and theatre sector. The headline figure is £1.57bn.Investment in “cultural, arts and heritage institutions” ( > The theatre industry has launched a new support fund for individuals working in the theatre sector. The Theatre Artists Fund >


Posted on 06 July 2020

What’s it like to furlough yourself?

The government’s voluntary furloughing scheme for employers opened for business on Monday 20 April. Within a day the government reported 140,000 employers had logged on to reclaim money for furloughed staff. Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme on > Any employer can apply to furlough employees, and that includes freelancers who run a company and take


Posted on 23 April 2020

Sole Trader freelancers: pathways to support

If you’re worried about your finances and wondering what support may be available to you, this page suggests a number of steps to take. 1 – How long have you been a sole trader? If you are registered as a sole trader, the government calls you ‘self-employed’.


Posted on 14 April 2020

VAT deferral for businesses

If you’re running a VAT registered business of any type, you’ll be aware that the government is allowing you to defer paying any VAT payment that was due between 20 March and 30 June 2020. Here is a link to the scheme description on Coronavirus VAT deferral scheme > I have a couple of


Posted on 28 March 2020

Freelancers and the Self-employed Income Support Scheme

On 26 March 2020 the Chancellor announced his new scheme to help people who are self-employed and have no work or reduced income. On 29 May he announced a second grant, available from 17 August, modelled on the first, but at a lower rate. He is helping sole traders only but with strict eligibility criteria:


Posted on 26 March 2020

What’s it like when you claim Universal Credit

Sole trader Sarah Carless has been freelancing for 25 years. She’s a floor manager, so nothing daunts her! Listen to her experience of applying for Universal Credit when her work dried up because of coronavirus. (See also the important note below the video.) … … Recorded Wednesday 25 March 2020 … Of course everyone’s experience


Posted on 25 March 2020

How HMRC could help creative freelancers

[Update: Wednesday 25 March 2020 There is an amendment to the Coronavirus Bill, proposed by the Lib Dems, which would create “statutory self-employment pay” at an average of the last three years’ net profit, OR £2917 per month, whichever is lower. The government didn’t adopt the amendment, but it shows the kind of thinking that’s


Posted on 23 March 2020

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


Posted on 13 March 2020

Self-employed roles in production – updated ‘agreed list’

Just before Christmas HMRC published an updated list of the job roles that are typically considered self-employed in film and broadcast production. This is a welcome clarification, and has been the result of long discussions between BECTU and others. It’s been organised into handy sections such as ‘post-production’, ‘special FX’, ‘audio’, ‘production management’, etc.. My


Posted on 13 January 2020