Broadcasting union Bectu has announced it plans to contact the government to ensure it lobbies insurance companies to cover freelancers who have to self-isolate due to coronavirus.
Bectu wants the government to establish a system to cover any lost earnings due to self-isolation that are not covered by insurance or by employers, which it suggests could be done via the benefits system.
It also wants a guarantee that businesses who cannot afford to cover this kind of absence will be supported.
Bectu said freelancers have been getting in contact to establish whether they are still entitled to payment even if their work is cancelled.
It follows the news that a crew member working at Maidstone Studios has been diagnosed with Covid-19.
Head of Bectu Philippa Childs said: “Freelancers should not be missing out on pay because of the Coronavirus. This could hit Bectu’s freelance members particularly hard. Unlike employees who receive contractual, or Statutory Sick Pay, many of these workers will lose thousands of pounds.
“We would urge engagers to accept responsibility for continued payment to keep potential infectors at home for 14 days.
“The freelance nature of working in the entertainment industries means that there is a huge amount of flexibility for employers. However, that flexibility can mean precarious work for many people and that should not be exacerbated because of a situation that is completely out of their control.”