How many contracts freelance creatives have – revealed

Genuinely self-employed creative freelancers can be distinguished from more casually engaged ‘gig economy’ workers by their number of contracts, an industry report suggests.

In fact, on an annual basis, about half of self-employed creatives work on between one and nine contracts, whereas an Uber driver can have up to 2,000 a year, wrote the CIF.

The driver’s contracts mostly last for less than an hour, and the yearly total assumes 260 working days with eight drives -- or contracts -- a day, says the report ‘Creative Freelancers.’

But assumptions did not have to be made by the Creative Industries Federation (CIF) for the 534 freelance creatives; they gave the exact numbers themselves in what is a revealing insight.

Forty had long-term contracts (lasting more than 12 months), 244 of them -- the biggest chunk -- executed between one and five contracts each year, and 111 had up to 10 contracts.

“Some take these jobs alongside part-time employment, others combine different sorts of freelance work,” CIF said. “Teaching alongside practice was a particularly common combination”.

Some of the self-employed creatives who were quizzed could be described as ‘speculative freelancers’ as they submit finished work to clients “in the hope or expectation” that it will be paid for.

Journalists, musicians, craft sector creatives and other freelancers who, on top of creating work in the hope of a sale, also take on commissions directly for clients, are examples the CIF pointed to.

Less positively however, for the freelancers without long-term contracts (139 creative freelancers had between 11 and 100 contracts a year), the report warns they may be at risk -- mentally.

Specifically, “anxiety about where the next piece of work might come from” has been identified among freelance producers, said the federation, citing a study by the University of Westminster.

Editor’s Note: Related --

Freelancers’ Questions: Can I ditch this dull contract to get a better one?

How to find clients in a recession

What NOT to say to clients


Jul 26, 2017
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