Belgium (Flanders): Freelancers can rely on both existing and new measures depending on the situation of the freelancer. When the freelancer’s got ill, he or she’s granted a daily amount from day one as soon as he or she is ill for a period of 7 days (measure from 2019).
When a freelancer’s not ill but has no income anymore which is the case for sports and art journalists for instance, he or she is entitled to a monthly allowance from the first day of no activity. The monthly payment amounts to 1.614,10€ when you have a family and 1.291,69€
when you don’t. In order to get it, you should just reach out to your social security fund. Other measures taken by the government are: exemption or postponement of the payment of social security contributions for one year for the first two quarters of 2020. Also, selfemployed workers can be granted a reduction in their provisional social security contributions for the year 2020.
France: The government announced to pay 70% of the gross income. So-called “pigistes” should be included in this compensation schemes as they have the same rights as staff journalist. A good practice can be seen at Radio France where exceptional measures are taken to support regular freelance contributors: The gross amount paid will be at least equal to the average of the total gross amount paid during the last six months, i.e. from September 2019 to February 2020 inclusive. Current “piges” contracts are all maintained, there won’t be any
cancellation. For freelancers on fixed-term or fixed-term-unit contracts who do not benefit, during this period of crisis and due to the context, from a contract with Radio France or another employer, the same system will be applied.
Finland: Government has agreed on a 15 billion Corona aid package including measures such as loan guarantees for companies and labor market support. Freelancers and entrepreneurs will be eligible for unemployment compensation, max 724€ a month. Private culture or journalism foundations are offering short term grants with fast decision making
The Netherlands: The Dutch government supports all independent workers applying for support with an amount equalling the social minimum pay. The support will be granted for three months without checking other sources such as private capital or partners’ income.
According to the Minister of Finance, there will be no cap as to the continuation of the support, if needed.
Norway: Sole proprietors and freelance workers, many of whom have seen their income vanish overnight, will now also qualify for state-financed sick pay after the fourth day, instead of after the sixteenth day, and they can apply for the equivalent of unemployment benefits amounting to 80 percent of their average earnings over the past three years, up to NOK 600,000. (50 000€). The Fritt Ord Foundation will support journalists and other with 3.2 million euros – to projects that “can secure spaces of expression, develop new channels of
expression and help a vibrant and vital public”.
In Portugal, independent workers who need to stay at home with their kids because of the schools closing, will receive one third of their medium income, taking in account the last trimester of 2019. In Portugal, 30% of journalists are independent and/or precarious.
Sweden: The central government will assume the entire cost of all sick pay during April and May. Self- employed persons will also be compensated, as they can receive standardised sick pay for days 1–14. To reduce the risk of the virus spreading in society, the qualifying day for sick pay will be discontinued between 11 March and 31 May, in that central government will pay sickness benefit for the first day of sickness. A special relief package for culture and sports worth 1 billion Swedish Krona (approximately 100 million euros) but it is not yet clear whether self-employed freelancers will receive pay from the unemployment benefit fund without putting the business on hold and still be able to do freelance work. Details including reforms of the unemployment benefit fund are being discussed now by Minister of Work.The
Swedish Union of Journalists (SJF) are having a meeting with the minister this afternoon and will stress this demands. A survey SJF made earlier this week among its 1670 freelance members shows that half of the freelancers say they have already missed out on assignments.