A New Code of Conduct to Improve the Ethics of Employing Freelance Ecologists – by Tilly Tillbrook (March 2021)

This article, published in the March 2021 edition of In Practice magazine, aims to start a conversation about creating an ethical industry where the onus on acting responsibly towards freelance staff is placed where it should be: on the employer.

Increasingly in the UK, new ecologists are having to work as freelancers to break into the industry. Rather than a conscious career choice, freelancing is seen as a means to an end, to gain enough experience to perhaps one day be offered that elusive permanent contract.

However, the lack of any consistent standards for payment means that exploitative situations are rife in the industry. A Code of Practice for the Employment of Freelance Staff is needed, aimed at employers to make it clear what an ethical business looks like, and which shows freelance workers what they should expect from an ethical employer.