The Coalition for Change has unveiled its landmark Freelance Charter, establishing five key areas to improve working conditions in the industry.

The charter, which was unveiled today in a session at the Edinburgh TV Festival, comes after the impacts of Covid-19 put huge strain on the working lives of freelancers in the sector.

It marks the first time in the sector that industry bodies have united to address the working practices, culture of people across the industry and formally agree to improve conditions. It offers industry-wide guidance on issues such as recruitment and development, workplace culture, bullying, harassment, commissioner conduct and training opportunities with detailed sections on each.

The Coalition unites all the public service broadcasters along with Sky, UKTV and industry bodies including Pact, Bectu, ScreenSkills, the Film and TV Charity and The TV Collective.

Under its section on commissioning conduct, the document acknowledges that greenlight lead time is vital in achieving many of the Coalition’s aims around better and more diverse recruitment practices. It urges broadcasters to commit to support realistic production timescales wherever possible.

The charter is listed as a living document, with Coalition for Change members committing to annual reviews and feedback to assess impact. In the first year there will be two reviews, in January and August 2022, with aims to widen the scope of the charter even further. Reviews will take place annually after that.

The Freelance Charter is a result of a huge collective effort across the industry to tackle some of the issues faced by our freelance workforce, and it’s encouraging that all involved have embraced both the opportunity and responsibility that we have to make things better for everyone,” said Zai Bennett director of programmes for Sky in a statement.

To the freelancers themselves this belongs to you, for a long time we’ve been calling things out but now we have a mechanism to do so. Change will take time and effort, but I hope what we’ve done here gives you agency.”” said Adeel Amini founder and chair of founded of Coalition for Change, TV freelancer and founder of The TV Mindset.

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