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  • Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Coronavirus (COVID-19): information and signposts to resources that may be helpful to you. Updated 31/3/2020.
Date posted: 31 March 2020

Information about Coronavirus (COVID-19)


UPDATES 31 March 2020


Creative Scotland has published application guidance for two funding programmes designed to provide further support to sustain the country’s creative community during the COVID-19 outbreak:

Creative Scotland Bridging Bursary Fund

Open Fund: Sustaining Creative Development


Arts Council England have published application guidance about two funding programmes offered as part of their COVID-19 emergency response package:

Financial support for artists, creative practitioners and freelancers

Financial support for organisations outside of the National Portfolio


UPDATES 27 March 2020


Additional update: This evening Arts Council England published extensive guidance for the arts museums sector about support from the government for individuals and organisations. It is comprehensive and well worth reading. Visit their website for more information.


The UK government has announced an aid package for self-employed people in the UK (all four Nations).

There are still details to be announced about how and when is will be made available however the headlines appear to be:

  • The aid will be made available in the form of a taxable grant of up to 80% of average monthly profits (over three years, or less, depending on how many tax returns you have filed) up to a maximum of £2,500 per month for three months
  • The scheme covers those earning under £50,000 per year (i.e. most of the people reading this page). It will be backdated to March 2020 and paid as a lump sum, but payment will most likely not be until June 2020
  • To qualify you need to be already in self-employment and to have filed a tax return for 2019, and at least 50% of your income has to have come from self-employment (rather than taxed at source PAYE employment)
  • If you have missed the 2019 filing deadline in January 2020 there is a four-week window to submit your information – so act now
  • Our understanding is that if you are newly started out as freelancer – and haven’t filed a tax return for 2019 – you will not be eligible for this scheme. This will be very difficult news for some people
  • Remember that profit is not the same as income. Profit is (basically) calculated after your business expenses have been deducted from your self-employed income
  • Any grant income received through this scheme is taxable and should be declared on the tax return for 2020 (due January 2021).

As previously announced, the next self-assessment tax payment will be deferred until January 2021.


For Wales

 Arts Council Wales’ web page about Covid-19

Take a look at their page to keep up to date with guidance and information for artists and arts organisations in Wales.


For Scotland

 Creative Scotland’s web page about coronavirus

They plan to launch, on 27 March, a repurposed Open Project Fund and a new Bridging Bursary for individuals in immediate need. Both funds aim to enable individuals and organisations to sustain their creative work and practice during these challenging times.


For Northern Ireland

 Arts Council of Northern Ireland’s web page about Covid-19

ACNI has also set up a survey to collect information about the impact on artists and arts organisations, which is accessible from the link above.


For England

 Arts Council England’s web page about Covid-19

On 24 March ACE launched a programme of emergency financial support for National Portfolio Organisations (NPOs), arts organisations outside of the national portfolio and funding for individuals. The fund for individuals will enable individuals working the cultural sector (including artists, creative practitioners and freelancers) to apply for grants of up to £2,500. More guidance about the fund for individuals will be available on 30 March. To apply, potential applicants need to have registered with ACE’s grant application and management system – called Grantium – by Friday 3 April. Please don’t miss out on the opportunity to apply by missing this deadline. Our advice is not to leave this until the last minute as you might not find the system easy to use. Support with registrations will be offered by ACE.


Benefits for freelancers affected by loss of work

If you find yourself in immediate hardship and need through loss of work, you are eligible to apply for state benefits:

Employment and Support Allowance (you have to have paid National Insurance Contributions over 2-3 years) 

Universal Credit (some restrictions to access this have been temporarily lifted and you do not need to attend a job centre)

The HMRC emergency helpline is 0800 0159 559.


UPDATES 20 March 2020

We’ve collected some information and made a short film about risk assessing for work that is delivered virtually, together with some links to technical support/ideas. We’ve included downloadable risk assessment and accident forms for you to customise for your own needs.









UPDATES 17 March 2020 

You will be closely watching the news and the UK and Nations government updates, taking action and responding as needed for you personally, the groups you work with and your colleagues.

We will have contacted all Members of People Dancing by 5pm on Tuesday 17th March 2020 – please look out for this in your email inbox.

The situation is changing frequently, so to keep up with the latest advice and information, visit the relevant government websites and heed the official government advice:

It may be necessary to act swiftly, so please keep yourself informed, think about forward planning and be prepared. The following is offered for your information and as a signpost to other resources that may also be helpful to you.

The Culture, Health and Wellbeing Alliance as set up a page of resources and information for practitioners at:

There is additionally some very helpful information provided by ACAS and the National Council for Voluntary Organisation (NCVO). Both are free to access:


Working and absence from work 

If you are self-employed and unable to work because of coronavirus or self-isolation, the government has temporarily made access to certain benefits (such as Employment Support Allowance and Universal Credit) faster and easier for self-employed people, depending on their individual circumstance.

If you are employed on a PAYE basis by one or more organisation you should contact your employer(s) and follow their procedures including in respect of and self-isolation.If you are unable to work because of childcare requirements as a result of school closures, you should contact your employer or the organisations and partners you work with.

People Dancing will honour contracts agreed with freelancers and expect our fellow funded dance organisations to do to same.

Cancelling or suspending events and activities 

Individuals, organisations and companies may temporary curtail or suspend activities, resulting in cancellations or postponements – or will find different ways of delivering and engaging, such as online/virtual (see note about insurance for People Dancing Members, below).

Dialogue with group organisers, commissioners, partners and participants is key. It is wise for all parties to understand any contractual arrangements and rights covering such circumstances.  

Some national organisations have provided information about coronavirus as it relates to specific groups and communities, such as Parkinson’s UK and Age UK. People Dancing is unable to provide advice or guidance about specific circumstances or projects.


Coronavirus and mental health 

The World Health Organisation has provided an information sheet about mental health considerations during the virus outbreak, which you may find helpful.


 Insurance and coronavirus

Many people are looking at ways of maintaining activities with groups, such as by virtual/video sessions. We include remote/virtual teaching and leading within the scope of activities insured through Professional Individual Membership of People Dancing. If you are planning to carry on with your work in this way, you will be covered, subject to you carrying out the usual risk assessments and practice safely.

The Public & Products Liability and Employers Liability (up to £10million) insurance benefits provided to Professional Individual Members of People Dancing would respond to defend insured members in the event of an allegation of any illness contracted as result of negligence by the insured (where the insured is legally liable) subject otherwise to the terms and conditions of the policy.

As a reminder: 

Public liability is your legal liability to pay compensation including legal costs for death or bodily injury, or damage to third party property in the course of business.
Public and Products Liability indemnifies the Insured against legal liability to pay compensation and Claimants costs and expenses, including in respect of:
a)       Accidental Personal Injury:

  • Bodily injury, death, disease, illness and/or medically recognised psychiatric injury
  • Invasion of the right of privacy, wrongful arrest, false imprisonment, wrongful eviction or malicious prosecution.

b)      Accidental Property Damage

Employers’ liability:  is your legal liability to pay compensation, including legal costs, for death, bodily injury and illness to employees arising as a result of their employment.
More information about the insurance benefits provided to Professional Individual Members of People Dancing can be found on our website.
We reiterate that it is important to follow official governmental and/or public health guidance appropriate to your location.