Covid 19 virus


WGGB worked hard to protect its members during the Covid-19 pandemic. Below is a summary of our lobbying and campaigning work.

  • Leading playwrights and theatres backed best-practice guidelines we launched to protect writers and the health of the sector during lockdown. Find out more here. We also launched new digital principles for theatre, to protect playwrights’ rights following the explosion of streaming and online delivery of stage plays during Covid-19. And a New Play Commission Scheme to combat the decline in new commissions as a result of the pandemic.
  • WGGB signed a statement calling for the urgent implementation of a Government-backed insurance scheme for theatre. Read it here.
  • We welcomed a report by the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee 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 sent with sister unions and organisations in the creative industries to former Chancellor Rishi Sunak and to former 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 were 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’.
  • Former WGGB Scotland Chair Bill Armstrong gave evidence 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 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).