Covid 19 virus

Covid-19

WGGB has been working hard to protect its members during the Covid-19 pandemic. Below is a summary of our lobbying and campaigning work. You can find out ways that you can get involved in the ‘Online activism’ section of our Covid-19 advice page for members.

  • Leading playwrights and theatres have backed best-practice guidelines we launched on 12 May 2020 to protect writers and the health of the sector during lockdown. Find out more here.
  • WGGB signed a statement in July 2021 calling for the urgent implementation of a Government-backed insurance scheme for theatre. Read it here.
  • We have welcomed the extension of the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS) but we continue to campaign for an extension of SEISS to support those estimated three million freelancers who are falling through the gaps. You can keep up-to-date with developments in our News section.
  • We welcomed a report by the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee on 23 July 2020 which backed our calls for an extension and expansion of SEISS and the establishment of a UK Creators Council. We had called for both of these in open letters we had sent with sister unions and organisations in the creative industries (read an open letter we sent to Chancellor Rishi Sunak and to Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden). We also wrote to Rishi Sunak as part of the Creators’ Rights Alliance, calling on him to fixed the flawed SEISS (read the letter), alongside other organisations following his November 2020 Spending Review (read the letter) and in support of the Excluded UK community prior to the 2021 Budget (read the letter).
  • We gave evidence to a Parliamentary inquiry and are prominently featured in the report Supporting writers through the COVID-19 crisis from the All Party Writers Group. Published in May 2021, it called on the Government to provide writers with greater support, recognition and protection of copyright under the direction of a ‘Creators Council’.
  • WGGB Scotland Chair Bill Armstrong gave evidence on 28 January 2021 to the Scottish Parliament’s Culture, Tourism, Europe and External Affairs Committee on the impact of Covid-19 on Scotland’s cultural sector (read the full story).
  • Creative Scotland listened to the calls of the WGGB Scottish Branch and other unions and organisations in the creative industries in its announcement in August 2020 of a package of £10 million of Covid-19 funding to support freelance artists and creatives (read the full story).
  • The Welsh Government listened to the WGGB Wales Branch and other creative unions and organisations when it announced a package of support for freelancers (find out more on our special Covid page for writers in Wales, which includes a Welsh language version).
  • We are supporting the Federation of Entertainment Unions’ #NoCreativeLeftBehind campaign. To make your voice heard, take a photo of yourself with your job title, post it on social media with the caption #NoCreativeLeftBehind, tag your local MP and ask them to take part (find out who your local MP is here).
  • As part of the Federation of Entertainment Unions we asked our members to get their Metro Mayoral candidates to sign up to the Creative Workforce Pledge prior to the elections on 6 May 2021.
  • The Covid-19 situation is changing rapidly, and we are talking behind the scenes to employers, Government and policy-makers to make sure writers’ rights remain firmly on the agenda. So do bookmark this page and keeping checking back for up-to-date campaign news.

Photo: Shutterstock.com/NadezdaMurmakova