Case Study 1
The creative worker
Ms A was a single parent with a school-age child and worked as a sole trader. She had training and skills in two streams of artistic work, and her long-term goal was for this kind of work to be her main employment. For the time being, bringing up her child was of high priority, and she had found ways of combining family life, maintaining an income and continuing to build her skills and artistic reputation.
Arrangements were complex, however. She had two different small jobs as an employee on four days a week during school hours, and fitted her artistic work into time left over and around her child’s needs. Some evenings she could fit in three to four hours work, but this did not always work out. She tried to work at least one full day each week in the home workroom – the day on which she did not work as an employee. Her work pattern was further adjusted during school holidays, in order to spend more time with her child.
She knew her hours of work, overall, easily met requirements for her tax credit claim, but they were usually different each week, and she found it hard to put a figure on them. She had recently taken on an additional stream of artistic work, which increased her range of skills and techniques for the future.
Small amounts of this work were available occasionally – for example, making an artistic item that would take two to three hours overall. This work did not have to be done in the workroom or done in ‘work time’, but could be done while watching television with her child, or keeping an eye on the computer games. Numerous other components of work had to be managed, and took up time including marketing and advertising her skills and items for sale, networking, travelling to sales events and galleries, buying materials and negotiating commissions.