UK languishes on 'best country for creativity' list

18 Oct 2021

A new survey reviewing how financially advantaged creatives are in different countries has placed the UK near the bottom of the list.

The study considered what four creative occupations - a graphic designer, web developer, architect and photographer - take home each month on average after subtracting the cost of rent in 20 countries.

The UK placed 19th, with 44.8% of monthly wages left after deductions.

Germany was the best country for creative professionals, topping the list with 61.8% of a monthly wage left after rent costs. Sweden and Denmark placed second and third.

A spokeperson for Design Bundles, which conducted the survey, said it was interesting to see how the UK fared: "Although they pay reasonable salaries in comparison, the difference in the percentage of pocketable wage is significant."

Female performing arts graduates earn more after five years

05 Oct 2021

Female performing arts graduates' earnings outstrip their male counterparts' after five years.

The average salary for a female performing arts graduate is £21,900, rising from £14,200 in the first year after finishing their studies.

Whilst men earning more in the initial stage of their careers with an average salary of £14,300 in their first year, women earn more on average three years in - £18,300 compared to £17,500.

The opposite is true of creative arts and design graduates: females earn less than males from the get go - £16,400 on average compared to £16,800 in their first year working.

The gap grows with time, with men earning £23,400 on average after five years, £1,900 more than female creative arts graduates.

Creative arts, where 60% of graduates are women, provides the lowest financial returns of any course of study, analysis by the Institute of Fiscal Studies (IFS) shows.

Xiaowei Xu, a Senior Research Economist at IFS, said women disproportionately chose subject with lower-paying career options.

"Of course, money isn’t – and shouldn’t be – the only factor when it comes to choosing what to study. But more needs to be done to inform young people about the financial consequences of degree choices, and to overcome gender stereotypes, so that women are not locked out of high-paying careers by choices at a young age.”



Curatorial scheme to tackle social mobility in visual arts

Weston Jerwood Creative Bursaries participants
04 Oct 2021

The pilot programme will “challenge accepted barriers” in one of the sector’s least inclusive professions.

Only 720 UK artists make a living from music streaming

30 Sep 2021

A long-awaited report into music creators' earnings estimates they receive a fifth of a penny per stream, but avoids wading into the debate about whether that's fair.

PRS reports gender and ethnicity pay gaps

28 Sep 2021

PRS for Music has narrowed its gender pay gap but white employees earn up to 26% more than those of colour.

The collecting society has published reports on its gender and ethnicity pay gaps as it announces two new full-time posts to "provide further expertise in equality and diversity".

Its average gender pay gap has decreased from 13.5% last year to 10.6% this year. 

However, there is an average wage gap of 20% and a median gap of 26% in favour of white employees over their colleagues of colour.

This is "predominantly driven by the proportion of Black, Asian or ethnic minority background employees in lower banded roles," PRS reports

It says it has trained all hiring managers on inclusive recruiting and increase its use of recuritment agencies that specialise in diverse candidates.

"Internally, the organisation is increasing its focus on nurturing diverse talent using talent reviews and career development plans, including coaching and management development."

Watchdog called to probe music labels' market dominance

22 Sep 2021

The Government has responded to a critical inquiry on streaming with a 12-month schedule of research and working groups to challenge industry practices.

Equity warns of hardship over Universal Credit cut

21 Sep 2021

Performers face financial hardship if the Government proceeds with plans to cut a £20 per week Universal Credit uplift.

53% of Equity members in a new survey said the policy would hurt them.

41% said they would be unable to meet essential costs, with a third unable to continue seeking work in the industry.

Equity believes the cut will have an even more pronounced impact on younger talent, underrepresented groups and those from working class backgrounds.

"These changes to Universal Credit will plunge thousands of Equity members into poverty or force them to leave the profession,” Equity’s Lead Tax and Welfare Rights Official Alan Lean said.

The union has called on the Government to abandon the proposed cut, scheduled to come into effect October 6.

National Insurance hike 'deeply damaging' to creative freelancers

17 Sep 2021

The tax increase will be a "double whammy" for some self employed creatives, as income support dries up in October.

£100m in royalties paid to visual artists

06 Sep 2021

Visual artists' rights manager DACS is celebrating a milestone: £100m distributed to artists.

Since resale rights were passed into law, the organisation has paid these royalties to 5,624 artists. The rights are payable on any secondary sales of works over €1,000.

However, more than half of all eligible sales are less than £5,000, meaning the right represents a vital source of income for lower-earning artists.

"In the current climate as artists face the myriad of challenges of the pandemic, many without the security of government support, that is more important than ever," DACS Chief Executive Gilane Tawadros said.


Project leaks artist pay rates to force transparency

11 Aug 2021

The project has highlighted a race to the bottom on freelancers' fees as artists share their "incredibly bad experiences".

Legislate fair payment from music streaming, inquiry says

15 Jul 2021

After a nine-month-long inquiry, MPs have recommended "a complete reset" of music streaming to better compensate creators. What could a new model look like?

Creatives call for device tax to generate arts funding

01 Jul 2021

A major collection society says the levy could provide up to £300m per year. What would it look like and how would it work?

PRS sets 10% interim livestream tariff against objections

14 May 2021

The royalties society says the rate, already more than double that levied on in-person shows, is "discounted" from a permanent rate it is yet to announce.

'Creators Council' mooted to help workforce and assist recovery

13 May 2021

A parliamentary report into writers' experience of Covid-19 says "a clear line of communication between the Government and the creative workforce" would address gaps in support - and save an £11bn industry from a cliff edge.

Arts organisations pledge to show salaries

26 Apr 2021

A campaign aims to reduce pay gaps and increase diversity in recruitment, but some say keeping the salary quiet improves inclusion too.

DCMS and ACE face inquiry into Culture Recovery Fund following due diligence issues

26 Mar 2021

Arts Council England has investigated 46 suspected cases of fraud and revoked three grants worth a total of £570,000.

DCMS Minister voices support for CMA to investigate music streaming

24 Mar 2021

Inquiry offers little hope of a copyright regime change to ensure equitable remuneration for artists any time soon.

Including the excluded

Screenshot of a virtual choir
10 Feb 2021

Sonali Joshi says parity in support for the self-employed is the vital ingredient for a positive future.

Supporting freelancers would be 'relatively cheap'

26 Jan 2021

A year's worth of income support payments for arts sector freelancers would cost an estimated £880m – less than 1% of the subsidy bill to date.

Second round loans will be at least £1m each

17 Dec 2020

100 or fewer organisations will benefit from the next round of England's Culture Recovery Fund repayable finance.


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