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Majority of musicians work without written contract

Nearly 70% of musicians accept jobs without a written contract. Photo: Shutterstock/Melis
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Nearly 70% of musicians accept work without a written contract, a survey by industry body the Incorporated Society of Musicians has shown.

Of the 250 professional musicians surveyed as part of the body’s annual study, 68% said they do not ensure that a written contract is in place before accepting a job.

The majority of respondents (79%) said they worked entirely or mostly as a freelance musician, with just 3% saying they were fully employed.

David Abrahams, head of legal at the ISM, said: “Whether playing in a venue or recording with a producer, musicians are losing out and putting themselves at risk within this no-contract culture. This culture of insecurity forces musicians into situations where they risk being exploited or, in worse cases, not being paid at all.”

He added that musicians at the beginning of their career were often keen to accept paid work regardless of whether a contract was offered, but urged them to ensure that a contract is always drawn up.

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