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Taking Action to Protect Musicians

The MU has been working hard to speak-up for our members wherever they are, wherever they work in the music industry

Here’s a quick rundown of our work and what you can do right now to make life easier for musicians and other freelancers during the coronavirus outbreak.  

Find out about the following:

There are lots of different ways you can get involved. We’ll be keeping this page up to date as the situation changes. 

Government relief for the self-employed

The Government recently announced a financial relief package for the self-employed, following weeks of lobbying MPs and Ministers, publicising the dire situation for musicians, and members taking action across the country.

This falls in line with the top action we’ve been urgently calling on Government to make, which was to:

“Implement a Universal Basic Income of £400 per week for the self-employed (which equates to the living wage) OR, as in Norway, pay them 80% of their average income over the past three years.”

Thanks to every member who filled in our impact survey or wrote to their MP. We have never stopped pressuring the government, but individual case studies have also been invaluable.

No musician should be left behind

Although Government’s Self-employed Income Support Scheme contains good news for many of our members – it is vital that no musicians are left to fall through the cracks.

We are concerned about the self-employed musicians who are not covered by these new measures, and also how the Government will cover the gap until support is made available in June.

We have updated our call on Government to reflect these concerns, and urge members to continue writing to their MPs with our new points, and to let us know how the coronavirus outbreak is affecting them by taking our COVID-19 impact survey.

Write to your MP

Write to your MP now. If there is one thing that will change the game for all musicians, it is immediate and informed Government action.

Email your MP using Write to Them. You can still write to your MP if you have no fixed address, find out more via parliament.uk.

If you’re not sure what to say, here is something to get you started. 

Please ask the Prime Minister to: 
  • Provide meaningful support for those who have been self-employed for less than a year.
  • Ensure people who are part self-employed (at less than 50% of their total annual income) to access support through the Self-employment Income Support Scheme.
  • Remove the £50,000 cap in the Self-employment Income Support Scheme, as no equivalent cap exists for employed people, and pay people up to the cap.
  • Provide support for self-employed people who run as limited companies and pay themselves in dividends through the Self-employment Income Support Scheme.
  • Extend the Self-employment Income Support Scheme to musicians here under working visas, such as the Tier 1 Exceptional Talent visa.
  • Speed the Universal Credit application process up to cover the gap until support via the Self-employment Income Support Scheme is made available in June, or find an alternative method of covering the income gap.
  • Announce statutory sick pay that is really for all from day one of self isolation whether you have coronavirus or someone in your household does.

Personal stories really do help – they show MPs the truth of the situation and give them case studies to show Government that it is urgent.  

You can already see the impact that you’ve made in calling on Government to provide financial relief for the self-employed. Now we need to make sure that all self-employed musicians are truly covered.

Help us represent you 

Every musician has been touched by coronavirus somehow. That could be cancelled gigs, cancelled music lessons, or fear for the future.  

To help us represent the needs of musicians during the coronavirus outbreak, let us know how you've been impacted by completing our short survey. 

Take our COVID-19 impact survey

Make sure you leave a comment explaining how it is affecting you, especially if you fall through the gaps in Government support. It’s your experiences that show MPs and Government why they must act now.  

Sign petitions in support  

There are lots of petitions making the rounds on social media. Here’s a list of petitions supported by the MU to sign and share if you can: