Self-employed and freelancers facing existential hardship

The deceleration necessary for health protection has brought the country and the order situation to a virtual standstill. This means that many self-employed and freelance workers are missing out on orders. Syndicom has therefore conducted a survey among its members in the media and creative industries, as well as among their work colleagues, of their current order situation.


As Syndicom writes in its communication, the interim results are alarming and show that there is a massive emergency. Over 1200 self-employed and freelancers have already taken part in the survey. Their information shows that the Federal Council supports the self-employed and freelancers in the media industry, visual communication and creative industries like the rest of the economy, otherwise many professional livelihoods would be in danger of collapse.


Around half of the self-employed have no more orders

The interim results of Syndicom's survey, in which more than 1200 self-employed and freelance workers took part within 36 hours up to this morning, show that 89% of order cancellations have already been made due to the Corona virus. The financial losses would already amount to at least 90% of an average monthly income for 37% of respondents. Also, 87% of participants see more than half of their jobs at immediate risk, with 50% seeing as many as 90-100% of their jobs at risk. Of the more than 1200 self-employed and freelancers, half can only make ends meet for a maximum of one or two months - 10% of those surveyed already have no reserves left.

Based on this information, Syndicom is calling on the Confederation and the cantons to provide direct support for self-employed workers. The union addressed these concerns directly to the Federal Council on Thursday. According to the union, the support measures planned so far by the federal government would not be effective in their current form for this group of dependent workers and employees and are insufficient.


Current crisis only the tip of the iceberg

Self-employed and freelancers are hardly covered by social insurance in Switzerland. As a result, they belong to a group that is particularly affected economically - even beyond the current crisis. Syndicom's survey shows that these workers have not been able to build up financial reserves in the past due to their fragile and often precarious working status. The existence-threatening condition of the self-employed and freelancers due to the coronavirus pandemic is therefore also an expression of the lack of social security. The trade union wants to work towards improving the working conditions of the self-employed and freelancers, particularly with regard to pension provision and unemployment.

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