Latest ISM updates on Coronavirus (COVID-19)

COVID-19: ISM update 20 March 2020

We are continuing to work to bring you the latest updates on the COVID-19 crisis.

Yesterday, the ISM produced new advice on school closures. The Government’s decision to close schools indefinitely from Friday 20 March 2020 will have massive consequences for members, whether employed, peripatetic or self-employed. Many schools have already closed, but as you will be aware the Government has said that the children of key workers and vulnerable children will remain at school.

The Government also announced a list of key workers and key public services. We are currently looking at what this means for our members and will be updating in due course.

If you are planning to teach online, we have published handy advice from ISM member Pippa Reid-Foster on how to transition from the practice room to online. We are updating our safeguarding advice in relation to online teaching and it will be available in due course.

We are continuing to engage with parliamentarians, civil servants and key ministers on the devastating impact of the virus on the self-employed and those on zero-hour contracts.

Yesterday, we wrote to all parliamentarians urging the Government to provide an emergency fund or grant for the self-employed, and – at the very least – to extend Statutory Sick Pay to cover all workers.

Yesterday, we co-signed two important letters. The first, from the entire creative industries and co-ordinated by the Creative Industries Federation, was sent directly to the Prime Minister, urging the Government to implement a Temporary Income Protection Fund for the self-employed and freelancers.

The second letter from the music industry was sent directly to the Chancellor, calling for an urgent package of measures to safeguard the future of the music industry.

We will also release details of an ISM-coordinated letter sent by the Earl of Clancarty to the Treasury later today on Twitter.

The Chancellor is set to unveil an emergency package aimed at protecting workers' jobs and wages as they face hardship amid the coronavirus pandemic this afternoon. We will work to bring you the latest update and advice on this once it is clear what this means for the self-employed and those on zero-hour contracts.