Covid-19: Help update

03/04/2020 0 By Admin

These are tough days for everyone, self-employed journalists in particular, but you are not alone. Your union is there to help

The union’s hardship fund NUJ Extra may be able to help financially. 

You could try too the Authors’ Emergency Fund and The Journalists’ Charity.  

Should any NUJ members, involved in critical work face, difficulties from the authorities, then please contact the NUJ. Your union will make representations on behalf of any members whose work is clearly in the public interest. Email:

The International Federation of Journalists also has this advice on Coronavirus safety.

And journalists may have to deal with traumatic situations while reporting on COVID-19. Guidelines from the Global Investigative Journalists network. 

If you need to contact NUJ staff, log in to the website to access phone numbers of the union’s full-time officials. The union’s offices are now closed. Meanwhile, if possible, the NUJ would like to hear from freelance members about how the present emergency is affecting you. Please email

In the Netherlands, the self-employed can apply for temporary financial support under the TOZO (Tijdelijke overbruggingsregeling zelfstandig ondernemers) scheme.

You are entitled to three month’s income support up to a social minimum of approximately €375 a week. The exact amount depends on the composition of your household and your income. You do not have to repay this. There is also no asset and partner test. There are qualifications, however. You must be registered with the Chamber of Commerce (although this might be relaxed to only ID card), be resident, legally, in the municipality, and work at least 1,225 hours per year (Approximately three days a week).

Check for possible updates and your eligibility as rules might be relaxed as a result of lobbying efforts from various stakeholders.

See Coronavirus: Dutch government adopts package of new measures designed to save jobs and the economy

Extra tijdelijke ondersteuning voor zelfstandigen zonder personeel (zzp’ers)

Vragen over de Tijdelijke overbruggingsregeling zelfstandig ondernemers (Tozo)

Applications can be made through your local authority up to 1 June 2020. For Amsterdam, see Ondersteuning voor zelfstandigen / zzp’ers

If planning to apply, call the Chamber of Commerce if you need more information: KVK-coronaloket: Koophandel Adviesteam: 0800-2117 (opening hours 8.30 to 17.00 o‘clock). 

People can also appeal to the regular unemployment benefit (WW) or social assistance (bijstand) under the Participation Act (Participatiewet).

Also helpful is the Dutch union the NVJ’s website on freelancers and corona: Corona crisis voor journalisten and Financiële hulp en uitstel van betalingen 

And finally, EU Commission president Ursula von der Leyen warned this week: “now, it is more important than ever that journalists are able to do their job freely and precisely, so as to counter disinformation and to ensure that our citizens have access to crucial information”.

Statement by President von der Leyen on emergency measures in Member States

That’s why we are journalists. Anyone in difficulties or want to share experiences do contact the branch:

So stay healthy, stay home if you can, and if your work takes you out, stay safe.