You are here

BAFTA Members’ Freelancer Survey – August 2023

22 August 2023

BAFTA recently surveyed 1000 full and Connect members working primarily in TV (c.26% response rate), to inform a panel discussion at Edinburgh TV Festival 2023 on industry recruitment and retention, chaired by BAFTA CEO Jane Millichip.

BAFTA Survey – Key Findings

  • 63% of freelancers surveyed told us they have had less work this year compared to previous years. Specifically, less than both before the pandemic and during the post-pandemic ‘boom’.
  • 20% of those surveyed have been out of work for more than 3 months.
  • 10% have been out of work for more than 6 months.
  • For those whose finances were impacted, the most common strategies for coping were:
    • Relying on savings – 63%
    • Taking on more junior roles – 13%
    • Relying on loans from friends and family  - 12.5%
    • Finding work outside the sector – 12%
    • Bank etc loans – 10%
    • Relying on benefits – 6%
  • Some people may have relied on more than one strategy.
  • 40% said the situation has affected their mental health, and in an already unstable industry, the downturn has added further stress and anxiety.
  • For those who have been out of work for more than 3 months, 75% said it had affected their mental health.
  • A third of those responded told us they have “considered” or “seriously considered” leaving the industry.
  • Primarily 70% surveyed are concerned that the downturn will lead to a loss of talent from the industry and the same percentage concerned about the impact on people’s mental health.
  • There is also a high level of concern for the impact on inclusion and on the diversity of content being commissioned (approximately 50% each).

Jane Millichip, CEO of BAFTA, said: “Our recent members’ survey of freelancers working in the TV industry shows many are struggling – with almost two thirds confirming the slowdown in work is the worst they have experienced in recent years.

The findings underscore the risk of a brain drain on the industry’s current trajectory - particularly those from underrepresented groups already facing intersectional barriers to progression, those with caring responsibilities, and those without an existing financial cushion or the bank of mum and dad to fall back on.

We welcome the topic receiving priority at Edinburgh TV Festival. Alongside providing guidance to affected members, we hope solutions for stemming an exodus of creative talent remain high on the industry’s agenda.”


Notes to Editors

BAFTA Connect is aimed at creatives and professionals at emerging and mid-level stages of their careers.

Full membership is open to individuals with more than five years’ experience in key creative or senior executive roles across film, games and television.

BAFTA’s latest membership data can be found here.


BAFTA – the British Academy of Film and Television Arts - is a world-leading independent arts charity that brings the very best work in film, games and television to public attention and supports the growth of creative talent in the UK and internationally. Through its Awards ceremonies and year-round programme of learning events and initiatives – which includes workshops, masterclasses, scholarships, lectures and mentoring schemes in the UK, USA and Asia – BAFTA identifies and celebrates excellence, discovers, inspires and nurtures new talent, and enables learning and creative collaboration. For more, visit BAFTA is a registered charity (no. 216726).