In-Work Benefits

Are yours under threat?

It may not be a well-known fact, but most people receiving benefits are in low paid employment.

Artists are one of the most poorly paid workers in the UK and many rely on housing benefit, working & child tax credit, DLA and more, to top up their low income and support their additional needs.

Jane Helling is an AUE member and has recently been threatened with the loss of Working Tax Credits, “The Tax Credit Compliance Review Team judge on four criteria; that Trade and Business is regular and organised and on Commercialism and Profit”. Jane passed on Trade and Business, but failed on ‘Commercialism and Profit’ as she made a loss in the last financial year due to setting up a new studio and lost work due to illness. “Not only are Tax Credits being withdrawn, but the decisions are being backdated, leaving very low paid workers with large overpayments to repay, in my own case this amounts to over £7,000.”

With the help of AUE, Women’s Aid and Morrish Solicitors, Jane is challenging this decision.

AUE are actively working to highlight the plight of artists with government to change the draconian rules on welfare benefit cuts imposed on precarious workers. These issues also effect members in Equity, Scottish Artists Union, Musicians’ Union, the Writers Guild and BECTU. That’s a total membership of over 100,000 workers. AUE may be small, but with the solidarity of sister trade unions and collective action, we can work together and reverse the austerity cuts to welfare benefits. The recent success of UNISON’s campaign on workers’ rights and scrapping tribunal fees in the Supreme Court is a fantastic example of how trade unions should be, and are, holding government and employers to account.

If you are an AUE member concerned about changes to welfare benefits, email with further details.

Or contact Morrish Solicitors, free of charge for up to 30 minutes


Jane Helling

Citizens Advice Bureau


Scottish Artists Union

Musicians’ Union

Writers Guild