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Tue, 11 Dec


The Complex

Theatre Forum

Are artists our canaries in the mines? The social implications of precarious work.

Theatre Forum
Theatre Forum


11 Dec 2018, 17:00 – 20:00

The Complex, 15 Little Green St, Smithfield, Dublin 7, D07 T3HK, Ireland


Whenever members meet, we hear artists, freelancers and independents as well as production companies say that insecurity now defines their work in the arts. Funding, work and pay are more uncertain than ever. According to the CSO comparing Q2 2013 and Q2 2018, average weekly earnings in the arts and entertainment sector reduced by 3.5% in those five years, notably the only sector to have suffered any decrease at all.

For too many, work in the arts is poorly paid or unpaid, no longer representing a reliable route out of poverty. In addition, unions have become less relevant to the growing numbers of independent and freelance artists. Many artists have limited options, making too few or no PRSI and voluntary pension contributions, putting benefits, maternity, parental and sick leave as well as pensions and housing beyond their reach. From this precarious employment position, artists cannot afford to be sick, find it difficult to plan careers, and near impossible to secure or afford a mortgage. Life choices such where to live, work and family formation are fraught with uncertainty, all of which takes a heavy toll.


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