Broadcasters and trade bodies agree to Coalition for Change quarterly talks

The industry’s biggest organisations have pledged to ensure all freelancers enjoy decent working conditions and are treated with respect, and will come together quarterly to work towards that goal.

All the public service broadcasters including the BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Channel 5 and STV, as well as Sky and UKTV, have committed to taking part in the quarterly Coalition for Change discussions.

Arts and entertainment union Bectu and producers’ trade association Pact will also be at the meetings, as well as Women in Film and TV, ScreenSkills, the Film and TV Charity and Disabled People in TV.

The organisations have signed a document which states: “We believe every freelancer working in our industry deserves decent working conditions and that we should all advocate a culture that promotes respect, professionalism and investment in people.”

Items on the agenda for discussion include but are not limited to: employment and recruitment practices, health and safety, workplace culture, race and diversity, bullying and harassment, training and talent progression, new talent and mental health and wellbeing.

The first meeting will take place at the end of September or early October and they will be held every quarter until December 2021.

The TV Mindset group has driven the initiative and founder Adeel Amini said that a pan-industry solution is the only way change can be made.

“The Covid crisis has brought freelancer issues into sharp focus, as well as the precarious nature of our industry as a whole. It is critical that we don’t emerge from this the same way we went in, and I believe that future change can only be achieved by having the entire industry working together,” he said. 

Head of Bectu Philippa Childs said: “The pandemic has shown no mercy and its effect has laid bare the challenges that freelancers have been dealing with for too long.”

Channel 4 head of factual Danny Horan added: “Our industry not just relies, but thrives, on the creative spirit and minds of freelancers. We are nothing without them and, while there is some extraordinary work – training, recruitment, workplace culture – happening in many quarters of the industry, we also recognise that’s not the reality for all.”

The full list of organisations that have signed up is:

  • BBC
  • ITV
  • Channel 4
  • Channel 5 (ViacomCBS)
  • Sky
  • UKTV
  • STV
  • Bectu
  • Pact
  • Film and TV Charity
  • ScreenSkills
  • The TV Collective
  • Share My Telly Job
  • Directors UK
  • Disabled People in TV
  • Viva La PD
  • The Unit List
  • Women in Film and TV