The CIPR and PRCA have issued a joint statement praising the work of communications professionals during the COVID-19 outbreak while urging the Government to do more to protect the industry’s freelancers.
Highlighting the impact of the coronavirus on the public relations industry, the statement from the CIPR and PRCA points out the frontline role many PR practitioners have in providing the public with real-time updates and advice. While the Government has committed to protecting the nation’s businesses as well as individual jobs and salaries, the bodies urge further support for freelancers working in PR, detailing the lack of income assurance for the self-employed in a letter to the Chancellor.
‘We welcome the Government’s approach of paying people to stay home,’ says the official letter. ‘All of us need those who are infected to self-isolate and those who are not to practice physical distancing. To achieve this everyone must have the assurance of an income until this crisis is over – not most people, but everyone’.
Detailing the many small PR businesses working during this crisis, with the biggest companies only employing a few hundred staff, the letter puts forward that the plans announced by the Government so far will not be enough to support ‘microbusinesses, home-based or virtual’ workers or freelancers who cannot take advantage of Small Business Rate Relief or Universal Credit.
Signed by CIPR CEO Alastair McCapra and PRCA director general Francis Ingham, the letter asks for a response from the Government today with specific details of how a new system can be put in place for the PR industry and its people.
‘Our members are on hand to support the Government in your effort to ensure the public have access to timely, reliable and transparent news and will play our part in the national effort to change behaviour and provide reliable information. We will continue to push for the Government to commit the resources for you to be able to do so.’
Read the joint statement from the CIPR and PRCA and letter to the Chancellor in full here.