HMRC targets false claims for self-employed financial support scheme (iNews)

Tax officials are also encouraging those who benefitted from the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme to repay

Millions of self-employed workers are being warned they could face prosecution if they have incorrectly or illegally claimed payments from the Government’s coronavirus financial support scheme.

In new guidance Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) said investigators would not seek to punish “innocent error or small mistakes”, but that they would come down hard on cases of “deliberate non-compliance”.

 

Uber’s Supreme Court showdown gives hope to gig economy workers (The Telegraph)

‘This landmark case will have enormous implications for how well, or badly, workers are treated’

A landmark legal fight, which started as a sick pay and holiday dispute in an employment tribunal, entered its final throes in the Supreme Court on Tuesday.

Drivers are arguing that they are “workers” entitled to the minimum wage, paid leave and other legal protections. Uber, meanwhile, maintains that they are simply “independent, third party contractors”.

“We have been fighting this case for five years,” says Yaseen Aslam, who drove for Uber and is one of the claimants, “what we are seeing here is workers being denied their rights.”

 

Freelancing is not an aspirational, flat-white-fuelled dream. The reality is much harder (The Independent)

“The sea of the self-employed is teeming with the able, talented and hungry, not to mention the thousands every year who finish their education. The more desperate people are for work, the less money we demand. And so the cycle of life continues.”

Rachael Revesz explores the pros and cons of freelancing in the Covid-19 world in her essay for the Independent. 

 

Musicians’ Union and artists call for universal basic income to support the arts (The Independent)

The Musicians’ Union and major artists have called on the government to introduce a universal basic income to support performers left unpaid during the coronavirus pandemic.

The government has pledged a £1.57bn bailout to the arts and heritage sectors, but the cash – which will largely go to venues and organisations – will still leave many people working in the sector out of pocket. While the furlough scheme and self-employment assistance covers many workers, others types of employment, including some of the most insecure “gig economy” work, has fallen through the cracks.

 

Coronavirus: Wales’ creative industries ‘face thousands of job losses’ (BBC)

Thousands of jobs could be at risk in Wales’ creative industries because freelancers cannot access UK government cash, a Senedd inquiry has been told.

The Creative Industries Federation said 16,000 positions in Wales are at risk.The Senedd’s culture, Welsh language and communications committee welcomed a £59m package for Wales from UK government support for the industry. But it warned the cash would be spread thinly, and urged the Welsh Government to clarify funding priorities.

 

Are Children Compatible with a Creative Career (Creative Review)

With lockdown forcing mums to bear the brunt of childcare and homeschooling, Creative Review asks what it’ll take to make creative careers more compatible with children and how the industry can begin to close the gender gap.

The Guardian reported earlier this year that mothers in lockdown were putting in four extra hours a day, caring for their children, and that they were more likely to be trying to work at the same time. How are women in the creative sector coping with assumed responsibility of childcare on top of that?