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Sign the Petition Calling for a Law to Force Employers to Pay Freelancers on Time

Sign this petition calling for a law to force employers to pay on time for freelance / contractual work.

Published: 15 December 2016 | 12:00 AM Updated: 28 April 2021 | 4:28 PM

Sign this petition calling for a law to force employers to pay on time for freelance / contractual work.

The petition reads, “Too many times have we all (as freelancers) faced clients that do not pay, or take forever to do so. We have no structure or law to support us in this matter except for small claims court. Sometime larger clients can bully a sole trader/contractor into relying on their terms, rather than other….

“Employers and agencies often sit on the money to gain their own interest rather than pay quickly and on time. The freelance contractor has no power and has to wait because the money is valuable to them.”

A similar law was passed by the City Council in New York in October 2016.

At 10,000 signatures, government will respond to this petition. At 100,000 signatures, this petition will be considered for debate in Parliament. So please sign and share the petition widely.

The cost of free work

Free work costs freelancers an estimated £5,394 per person every year according to recent research conducted by the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self Employed (IPSE) and the Freelancer Club.

The research also found:

  • Freelancers surveyed spent an average of 31 chargeable days in the past two years working for no pay.
  • Free work disproportionately affects women and young workers.
  • Over half (54%) of freelancers have worked for free in the hope of gaining exposure of their work.
  • One in five (20%) identified working for free as standard practice in their industry.

Work Not Play

The Musicians’ Union (MU) set up Work Not Play to raise awareness of musicians being asked to work for little or no fee, and show employers / engagers why this practice is wrong.

More and more professional musicians are being asked to work for free on a regular basis. Over 60% of MU members we surveyed last year said they worked for free in the previous 12 months. Amongst students, that number was even higher. Over 90% told us they had been asked to work for no fee in the previous 12 months.

Have you been asked to work for little or no fee recently? Tell us about it - tweet your story using the hashtag #WorkNotPlayMU or email us at

Have you not been paid money you are owed? Contact your Regional Office for advice and assistance.

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Brexit Lobbying Update

An update following the debate held in Westminster Hall on enabling visa and work permit free travel for musicians in the EU, with renewed calls from MPs for the Government to sort out remaining issues for musicians.

Published: 23 November 2021

Read more about Brexit Lobbying Update