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U.K. broadcasters meet with union Bectu following ‘Unprecedented’ unscripted work drought

Broadcasting and crew union Bectu has met with U.K. broadcasters today to discuss the “unprecedented” work drought in unscripted that has seen many freelancers looking for jobs outside of TV.

As Variety reported last month, the unscripted sector is currently in crisis following a perfect storm of disrupted pipelines and economic downturn that has meant unscripted commissioning has almost ground to a halt. As a result, many freelancers in the unscripted community have had to take on other jobs from hospitality to temp work to pay their bills.

Bectu is now liaising with broadcasters in an attempt to remedy the situation.

“Following Bectu’s recent poll that revealed nearly half of U.K. freelancers working in unscripted TV are not currently employed, we today met with a number of major U.K. broadcasters to discuss the downturn in work and its impact on the freelance workforce,” head of Bectu Philippa Childs told Variety.

“Freelancers suffered incredible hardships during the pandemic and it’s clear many of them continue to face precarious employment and the significant challenges that come with this. Today’s meeting was a positive first step in developing an industry-led strategy to address both the current crisis, and drive long-term change in the sector – particularly in addressing the ‘feast or famine’ nature of the industry.”

“It’s important that we maintain regular dialogue on this matter,” Childs continued. “And we look forward to further discussions in the coming weeks. Freelancers are critical to the success of the U.K.’s world-class film and TV production sector and we are committed to working with all relevant stakeholders, including broadcasters, to find and implement solutions.” Variety

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