Job share group Share My Telly Job ties with Bectu to establish an accurate picture of conditions

Freelancers’ working hours are to be scrutinised under a major research project overseen by job share group Share My Telly Job and supported by Bectu.

The Time Project has secured funding from the University of York’s Screen Industries Growth Network to establish an accurate picture of the way freelancers work - uncovering patterns of behaviour and identifying any patterns of overwork which could impact staff mental health and wellbeing.


A pilot will commence in September, with contributors asked to upload their working hours each day and week to an online database, before an app is launched which will allow updates to take place anonymously.

The study will be produced with Dr Rowan Aust at the University of Huddersfield and Dr Jon Swords from the University of York.

According to organisers the project marks the first time a long-term study about working hours in the industry has been conducted.

Founder of Share My Telly Job, Louise Patel said: “We know that working hours are intrinsically linked to issues of burnout, the lack of diversity, the loss of women in the industry, career stagnation and serious mental health issues.”

Bectu will encourage its 20,000 freelance members to participate.

Head of Bectu Philippa Childs said she is committed to ensuring working conditions do not deteriorate as a result of Covid-19.

“Our Eyes Half Shut campaign highlighted the devastating impact these working practices have on content, mental health and wellbeing,” she added. “We know that people working in film and TV don’t want to continue working in this way.”