Definition: of “Unpaid Work” in the self-employed/freelance sector.

Unpaid work is defined as work that does not receive any direct remuneration such as monetary payment, services or goods.

Common examples of unpaid work include services in return for paid work in the future, exposure or experience.

Unpaid work devalues the individual and negetively impacts the creative industry resulting in a lack of diversity, a diluted talent pool and a poorer economy.



Claudio Zuccaro

"Fuck you, pay me!"

isaac whitfield

"London is expensive"

Alex Wukovich

"Ask the person asking for free work if they would work for free. Then, ask them if they have bills to pay."

Manaz Javaid

"Unpaid work doesn't respect people's time, expertise and value"

Alexzandra Lulu Van Ewyk (artist name Alex Crombie)

"Artists of all kinds, especially visual artists like myself, deserve to get paid as well as anyone."

Kyle McLean

"Money Talks"

Kyle McLean

"Need cash to survive"

Danijela Bočev


Mark Ambrose

"I am not prepared to work for free because this is not a hobby I do its my livelyhood."

Ioanna lemonari

"Because make up artist is a job and we have to get paid for our services obviously"

Evelita Simkute

"I am convinced that all work, big or small, has to be fairly rewarded."

jamia eubanks

"Don’t work for free"



velvet jade

"I feel that being unpaid for all my hard earned skills when I have built years of studying, learning and freelancing is devaluing me as a person. I do not feel anyone should work for free, unless they have absolutely NO EXPERIENCE"

Ben Moore

"Ask anyone not in the creative industry if they would work for free.......... I rest my case!! :)"

Mark Edet.

"Everyone deserves to be paid"


"I need to find a paying freelance paid job"

Amber Mercado

"I worked hard and put in the time to learn the material, I shouldn't have to give away free work to prove I know what I am doing."

Brendan O'Sullivan

"Its not right !"

Rod Ramsey

"I have spent thousands of pounds on equipment and education. Being asked to work means that my talent and skills are not appreciated."

Steve Garvin

"Solidarity for Standards industry"

trevor deal

"tired of not being paid for work everyone expects something for free if your upgrading a portfolio you expect to get paid for it if i want to upgrade my portfolio i expect to pay for it it works both ways and as a photographer i cant keep doing free shoots"

Richard Elson

"To stop the demise of clients trying to make us work for free"


"Financial freedom"


"Every work is someone's time and energy and as such, we are saying no to slavery at all costs."

Claudia Mirabile

"Got a freelance job for a big firm in NYC . I personally knew the owner so I stupidly trusted them about payment after having clarified my hourly fee by voice. After contacting me for more than four weeks on a daily basis full time when I sent them my invoice they fired me and they claim that I worked for them less than 80 hours."

Jessica phelan

"I am tired of not being paid for my hard work."

Cristina Massei

"I'm happy for all who can afford to work for nothing. That's called a hobby though and it's making work impossible for those of us who do this professionally and, as such, have expenses. We pay for the insurance that keeps our clients safe and the equipment and training to make sure they get the best results, for a start. I'm a professional photographer. I know some might work for portfolio, we all did. But at least specify you're new to this so clients can make an informed choice."

Reagan Sheridan

"You wouldn't book a plumber and then ask for it for free - why would you do the same with any other profession? I can't pay bills with free unfortunately. The only time i work for free is if its for charity then if its a small charity i do it for free and if its a large charity i bill them and get them to put payment as donation to charity."


"I'm a professional and creative work is work"

Chris Bowyer

"I am self-employed and free work or services will never pay my bills no matter how big the carrot is that is dangled."

aaz bazz

"azz not paid"

Prachi Deshpande

"There is the need for understanding the importance, to value all kinds of works."

Siew Gratton

"Makeup artists and hairstylists are often being underappreciated when come to payment. Cosmetic are expensive!"

Rachel Vogeleisen

"Unpaid work doesn't pay the bills."

Oscar Jimenez

"Unpaid work is a form of modern slavery"

Will Murray-Phillips

"Unpaid work devalues the individual and negetively impacts the creative industry resulting in a lack of diversity, a diluted talent pool and a poorer economy."

Alberto Urra

"Unless is a charity that really can´t afford it."

Sarah Winright

"To be compensated for my time and skills."

Melissa Papini

"It’s not fair"

John Patrick Fletcher

"I want to have a long and successful career but I do not want to it while living under a cardboard box. If you can pay an architect, plasterer or a plumbers time then why not a photographers time."

Ellah Nyawira

"I am tired of FALSE PROMISES and need to get paid for my work. Artists put in a lot to grow their skills."


"Need to be paid for my time, the same as for any other work."

Jennifer Verne

"I am a freelance full-time photographer and I am tired of being under-valued for my work"


"It's ridiculous that we're even having this conversation. Freelancers provide a valuable service, and deserve to be paid. If you can't pay a lawyer or a plumber in "exposure," why would expect a creative professional to work for free."

Toshiro Gohma

"I get exploited regularly"

Emer Hawkins

"Everyone deserves to be paid... full stop!"

Karl Stuart Robertson

"Free work undermines the industry"

Karisa Bili

"Artists deserve to be paid for their work, same as any other job."




"I've exploited many times... Yesterday also.. now also one guy asking me to do 3k worth job for 100 dollars"

Kanishka Gupta

"Unpaid work for friends of friends and family-friends has led me into this quicksand of sorts and I want to pull myself out of this trap before it becomes too late."

Zoé Maghamès Peters

"My job is a real job. I should be paid."

Pink Collar Warrior

"As a former HR Manager, former volunteer and as a current freelancer, I despise the free work culture of nowadays. It robs people from their livelihood, and is actually an asshole thing to do. Also, corporations and richest 1% should pay taxes."

Lisa Balderson

"So many people expect you to work for free. Just a quick favour, little bit if advice..."

Fanny Marcoux

"Anyone deserves to be paid their worth"

Ciara Hynes

"Everyone deserves to be paid for work."

David Hennessy

"My ideas are mine, and they ask me everyday to hand them over for free you see."

Gregg Jaskiewicz

"nobody does things for free."

James Capper

"Nobody should work for free, especially for "exposure". Disgusting practice that needs to end."

Steve Komarnyckyj

"The absolute lack of respect shown to freelancers"

Claudine Curran

"I should be compensated for the time and effort I put in. This is my career, not my hobby!"

Muhammad arif

"Reading the codes"

Helena Minor

"People always want my services for free."

Eleanor Pender

"I am a freelancer and I stand by the absolute need to be paid for my work. There is great need to consistent across all industries, to support ourselves and each other in our need to be paid for our skills and hard work."

Richard Laxa

"Why wouldnt you sign this important petition. I am totally against running or working for free. I come from a low-income background and to alienate everyone who hasn't got a trust fund is mental."

Lee O'Connor

"Everybody's time is valuable and deserves to be rewarded fairly."

Nancy Hall Johnson

"Calligrapher and graphic artist who has had far too many people ask for free work. Or say they will pay for it and don't. So now I just do work for myself or family and recently my cousin-in-law asked for a logo and insisted he pay for it. Mind blown...but then again, he's an artist too."

Ryan Cox

"Unpaid work doesn't pay for my years of experience and it doesn't pay for the upkeep of my business, equipment or putting food on the table"

Michelle Silke

"I price my work fairly, I work hard and produce work I am proud of for my clients, I cannot live on air alone and ask my clients to pay what's fair."

Robert Fenton

"I need money to live"

Leila Coker

"This is my livelihood and I refuse to provide a service which will be used for financial gain. It devalues myself and makes a mockery of the time I have given and the amount of money in training and equipment."

Martha Elena Saint Martin

"I thought that by doing it I would get more work and/or exhibition. But I have found it is pretty useless and a big waste of time."

georgia currell

"cannot afford it"

Akvile Dauksaite

"Respect each other time which has value."

Noémi Martini

"I have been doing unpaid work long enough"

Abi Rose

"Can no longer justify doing unpaid ‘trial tasks’ when pitching or applying for projects only for brands to disappear."

Carl Pendle

"Devalues what we do."

Stefania Calderara

"Devalues work and bring the whole industry down"

james holyoak

"if the work is ok to be taken then its ok to be paid for....."

Michelle Siddall

"Everyone works hard to be in the industry they're in, so why should their services be free?"

Weronika Nowak

"Freelancers work hard and want to get paid for their work like any on else working in a company."

Mariah Sibley

"I dont think anyone should have to work for free, and an artistic skill takes an extremely long time to hone to the point where the individual sees it to be at the quality where it is sellable"


"Its happened to me - i felt swindled and taken advantage of"

Branwen Bindra

"Would love to be part of this community."

Asad Ali

"earning money"


"for earning"

Clara Parlati

"Giving value to our job is a core principle"

Tamara Leeward

"Being a good artist and asked to work for free is insulting"

Phillip Golding

"Every work man is entitled to his pay"

felix christensen

"It takes years to master a creative craft, it's a skill that deserves fair payment and recognition."

Laimonas Stasiulis

"It’s the right thing to do"

Tom Leighton

"I would never ask someone to work for free, so why should I work for free to get "exposure". Life has value, and so does your work."

Paul Hands

"To stand up for myself and others in the industry"

Matt Cooke

"I value mine and my peers work. I would never seek to devalue myself or others, by working for free or expect others to work for free. Our skills and equipment cost money. Our time is valued. Our extensive learning and re-learning has a cost attached. To not reward that is to denigrate all."

Jonny Wilson

"It's just not fair that someone comes to you asking you to do a job because they can't do it themselves and then think that you shouldn't be paid for doing the job that they can't do... It's a skill that we have, so people should pay for it all the time."


"Agreeing to work for free is completely unethical and not sustainable. Everyone should be valued and paid accordingly for their time, skills, knowledge and experience let alone the monetary cost of running a business, equipment costs, insurance etc. Asking people to work for free and agreeing to work for free will insure that creative industries become entirely elitist and open only to those wealthy enough to do so."

Christopher Ison

"Expecting someone to work for no fee is unethical and will kill the creative industries - it's the very definition of short-termism."

Stephen Potts

"Anyone who shoots for free with the expectation of exposure or introductions will only get to know people who want to meet photographers who work for free"

Patrick Baldwin

"Being exploited is no good to anybody and damaging to the industry"

Oli Roberts

"It can break a teams moral. And business."

Sarah Walker-Sage

"I represent a group of illustrators and animators."

Sunil Dhillon

"a lot of upcoming MUA's, clothing brands and event organisers have ruined the industry with approaching creatives to work for nothing and it has devalued the industry. since 2018 mainly in the asian fashion and wedding market this has become the norm and its not fair that our hard work spent on location and behind a screen, editing for hours has had a major impact on the atitude of individuals within the industry and it needs to stop. There is no creative (unless your trying to build a portfs"

maxwell amoako


Chris Bowyer

"It's wrong to expect people to work for free."

Dawid Theron

"Unpaid work shouldn't be an option."

umunna wilson

"I can't please man and unplease myself"

Ron Carroll

"I work across US, Canada and UK. Every time someone works for free, or at a massively reduced rate, they devalue both themselves and the industry."

Ras Verdi

"fed up of people asking for freebies, I have overheads, family and a mortgage. Exposure and social media does not pay for this"

Rainy City (Dan)

"We shouldn't devalue ourselves and our peers. You work hard - you deserve to reap the rewards. Don't ever be afraid to say no!"

Renael Dixon

"It's killing the creative industry"

Aby Wojcik

"Work for a membership organisation that understands the impact of unpaid work on freelancers in the creative industries and the vital importance of paid work."



Neil Wooding

"Support freelancers and ensure fair value is paid for work done!"

Paul Scott

"Fed up of doing work for people then having to fight to get paid"


"We fully support this cause the furtherment of an agenda of respect for freelancers and their work."

A Designer At Heart

"I have been a freelancer for 5 years and always refused unpaid work. I had to make big life choices to do that, for example moving to China (from Italy) after graduating because it was the only place where I could find a paid internship. I truly believe unpaid work shouldn't be allowed so I'm happy to sign."

Ian Blaza

"I get sick of seeing freelancer websites that let people place job postings for freelancers that end up being lower than the minimum wage, or want a service for free. This has to stop. It devalues the creativity of the talented designers out there and also gives a false representation of how much design is worth."

Robin Walker

"It is unfair that companies take advantage of people, and exploit their eagerness to get ahead by suggesting freelancers do work for free."

Steph Whitr

"Requests by companies expecting to give photography services for free simply for exposure. Or expecting to give images to companies without them paying me a fee or even a hint at a website/social media credit - giving them free promotion of their business with zero compensation for mine."

Claire Murray

"Professionals who have relevant experience and training in any field should be paid for work undertaken. No exceptions."

Curran Music Creation LTD

"I feel very strongly about this subject. Why is it accepted that freelancers or companies in creative industries should expected to work for free?"

Abbie Lawton

"dont agree with unpaid work"

Social Republic

"Social Republic was created as a “new way”, an alternative to the traditional agencies. A network of freelancers that brings experience, flexibility and value to brand social media strategies and campaigns. An approach that enables the right people to be brought together on the right jobs, whilst providing and promoting creative and person-centred working for freelancers across the globe. Above all we believe in equality, respect and support for freelancers."

RHIANNON Evans-Young

"If people are working, they should be paid for it. Simple!"

Sol Maya

"No One Should Work For Free"


"Hiring Freelancers"

NSE Media

"Appreciate the movement"

Alessandra Boeri

"This happens way too often. I just experienced it again this week with an agency and client. I finished a project early because I was quick to edit(I was booked on a day rate with them) and yet, they only want to pay me half because I finished early. This is unacceptable. We don't get work fast for free, we work hard because we have the skills to deliver quickly."

Remedy Hair And Beauty

"Free don’t pay bills!"

Tonje Brattås

"Leading an campaign #jointheRIOT "Why are creative freelancers still under-paid and under-valued? It's time for change. It's time to RIOT. This summer we shine a light on creatives' visions on how this industry SHOULD be - and we would love to hear from YOU. Send your photo to or post your own photo with the hashtag §jointheRIOT to share your vision. Check us out on"

Justin Buehler

"I've been burned too many times submitting proposals and not getting paid for my ideas contained in the proposals."

Kieran jay johnson director @IAM CASTINGS

"As I believe in paying people for their time, skill and support. I have worked for free myself over my journey becoming a casting director. During this time I was told this was essential if I wanted to get ahead!! Which I now see as free labour. I also see that this culture leaves a certain demographic out and reduces opportunities, as they are not able to work for free to better themselves."

Simon Kristall

"With 20 years experience and having worked for some top blue chip brands, I’ve still been approached to cary our free work, it’s not been recently however. It’s nothing short of exploitation, and creates a false economy for the industry in question. Especially when those that ask are sometimes doing very well indeed."

Richard Myers

"We support hundreds of startups every year, including many freelancers, and far too many times we've seen them do free work on the promise of bigger work down the line. Business doesn't work that way. Do you know anyone who has taken their car to a garage to ask for a free service because they may want 4 new tyres and an exhaust in the future? Nope. #nofreework"

Paul Dwyer

"I support students in gaining freelance work at the University of Westminster"

Angel Marinov

"The creative industry is like any other and free work should be allowed."


"We've been campaigning against exploitation in the creative sectors for decades and supporting staff and freelancers who experience this. Well done on launching this campaign; we hope it will identify a will amongst policy makers to strengthen the law and the resources available for enforcement in support of new entrants in particular."

Dominique De-Light

"I believe all freelancers should be paid to ensure everyone has access to work opportunities. For a thriving creative economy it is important for diverse groups of people to have equal access to freelance work. At Creative Future we support under represented artists and writers, the #nofreework campaign reflects our vision of a more equal society and that's why we support this campaign."

Chaire Grace

"Too many Virtual Assistants undervalue themselves by either completing free work or offering their services for an unrealistically low rate. We want to sign up the to campaign in support of change to improve standards."

Elisha Miller

"I have undertaken many projects with the offer of 'Exposure' as payment, and not a single one of them has led to any further work or as claimed, worthwhile exposure. All it has done is taken time away from actively promoting my business and gaining paid work."


"Hard working people deserve respect and financial reward as well!"

Model Code Agency

"Sick of being asked to work for free"

Hannah Martin

"I believe everyone deserves fair pay for good work. As a freelancer I would never work for free on the promise of some future hope of work or other recompense. And as a business owner, I employ skilled freelancers and pay their quoted rates without haggling."


"The #NOFREEWORK campaign aligns perfectly with our beliefs that talent and hard work should be recognised and rewarded."

Francois Boutemy

"I believe industry professionals should be paid for their work to survive and thrive in their chosen career. Constant offers to create unpaid work for portfolio purposes only devalues the work of the individual. When you're at the supermarket checkout, you never haggle the price on the bill! Why does this happen with freelancers?"


"We support Freelancer's rights to paid work."

Frame Perfect Management

"This is our job not a hobby and we should be paid for our skills, creativity , time and effort."

Adam Edgell-Bush

"We are a startup that benefits from using freelancers. We want them to be able to live and thrive providing their invaluable services to companies such as ours."

Kelly Gilmour-Grassam

"We believe that all work has a value!"


"Everyone should have the same opportunity to follow their passion and prove their value. Therefore everyone should be paid a fair amount for work they do, with no exceptions."

karim Diomande

"I want to support #NOFREEWORK and for freelancers to have the opportuinty to earn a living"

Maik Jansen

"Any one working, should get a fair payment for that."

Zoe Green

"If we work for free we devalue the creative industry for everyone"

The Quick Brown Fox Video Production

"By posting or applying to unpaid work, people undermine seasoned professionals and possibly cause them to lose out on paid work."

Merité Media

"Because we are expected to provide expert quality services so should always be adequately compensated."


"We're fully behind the #NOFREEWORK campaign and support all the freelancers who work for us. Keep up the right work."

Katy Pollard

"I believe strongly in this campaign"

Jonathan Brigden

"We are an agency who sometimes have to do pitches to win work. We always pay our staff and freelancers though."

Christina Inge

"Freelancer for many years. Freelance isn't free"

Felicia Lannan

"All arts and artists deserve an income."

Mark Settle

"Working in the DJ industry, there's a running joke about doing gigs for exposure, and this extends into other sectors. My work has value, and I won't do it for less than I feel it's worth, nor will I ask anyone else to do it for exposure either."

Marinet Quinones

"I believe that all work should be paid, and on time. I hace clients who take a very long time to pay, months after the work is done."

James Shaw

"I have been a freelance writer and filmmaker for seven years. The amount of filming I have done for free would have bought me a house by now and it's very frustrating and caused financial problems, which I'm still unable to resolve. I set up my company two years ago and I'm still being contracted for a fraction of the cost. I also appreciate you starting this movement. Thank you ✌️"

Katia Herault

"We need to stand for social justice"

Susannah Marriott

"I've worked for free too often. I want to stop my kids doing it."

Arwyn Bailey.

"I am tired of being asked to shoot for TFP. I believe that this work should be outlawed, totally, and that a professional qualification, and ongoing CPD should be required of ALL creatives, just as a gas fitter or electrician is required; and furrhermore, ALL creatives should be required to carry requisite public liability and other relevant insurancez by law. Until this happens, creativex will continue to be exploited."

Dawn Baird

"Because freelancers and small business owners are getting asked to work for free and it has to stop!"

Kieron Jansch

"Unpaid positions, exploiting new entrants to the creative industries, undermine the value of those industries for everyone."

Karen V

"No free work!!!"

Drew Aspinwall

"The whole sector loses when people offer to work for nothing, nothing usually come so if it and only the wealthy can afford to do unpaid internships - if no-one is getting paid that is different - otherwise it is a race to the bottom."


"It's exploitation"

Ángela Manfredi

"It's exploitation"

Tarmo Tulit

"To support the creative industries and my livelihood."


"To support #NoFreeWork as I am a graphic Designer beginning my own design business venture"

Sue Bowerman

"Because things need to change!!!!!"

Gorilla Accounting

"We provide accountancy services for Freelancers and Contractors. As a result, we work with some really innovative, creative companies - no pay should mean no work."

Peter Carroll

"Working for free serves to undermine long term career progression and ultimately devalues a skill base. It undermines diversity of age and social class and restricts opportunities for talent to shine."

Novel Beings Ltd

"We believe that every freelancer needs to be paid for their expertise and services. While we are an intermediary business, we pledge not to put forward any unpaid jobs were everyone involved isn't getting out of it what is due to them."


"We all are freelancer who have 'volunteering' to work together to build a better future for the young people and as a group and a platform we commit to not exploiting individuals for commercial gain or misusing intellectual property of freelancers and we actively support #NOFREEWORK. Will add this as part of policy framework for our work we do and actively promote it to make it clear on where we all stand."

Tommy & Lottie

"Everyone is worth something."

Katie Carr

"Everyone is worth something."

Frank Bennett

"The number of people working as freelance/self-employed is growing and that suits individuals in finding a work/life balance and employers seeking flexibility. If this is to benefit both for the development of a fluid labour market that is the becoming the bedrock of economic development and needs of society then unpaid work is not part of the deal. I support #NOFREEWORK."


"We believe, strive, and fight for this campaign. Creative work should never be free, and we will keep creating conscience around the globe. Thank you."

FP Comms

"We supports everyone earning a living, including Freelancers. Love this campaign and I heard about this campiagn via East London Radio!"

Seventa Image Academy

"We support the #NoFreeWork initiative to ensure that our industry not only survives but thrives in the Freelance Workspace."