If you have recently completed a course of education or training and are entering the media and entertainment industry as a freelance, you can join BECTU as a new entrant at a special rate.
This offer is only available to those who are joining the union for the first time and who join within a year of completing their education or training. Such new entrants, working freelance, are eligible to join BECTU as a full member for one year at £60. This is half the standard joining fee and includes all services as well as access to low-cost public liability insurance. New entrants may also be interested in the Media Freelance Insurance plan launched in April 2013 which offers low-cost kit cover and more.
Young Members Forum
Connect too with our Young Members Forum. Visit their site and follow them @bectu_ym
The New Entrant application form is available to download from this page; alternatively you can request a form by post.
NB: If you have an existing problem and you are seeking the union's immediate help please call our membership department on 020 7346 0900 (office hours, Mon-Fri) so that we can talk to you about the arrangements for joining BECTU. Otherwise do follow the guidance on this page.
Working to counter exploitation
BECTU members were instrumental in the 2005 TV Wrap campaign which highlighted the exploitation - particularly of young people - working in television production. The campaign highlighted the extent to which a significant number of employers were abusing work experience.
The TV Wrap campaign succeeded in putting pressure on the industry to rethink its attitude to prolonged periods of unpaid work. As a result, a new set of guidelines on work experience was introduced in 2007. (These guidelines have been updated in the interim; see below for the latest version).
However, whilst TV Wrap was instrumental in exposing poor industry practice, some employers continue to exploit new entrants. In October 2009 BECTU met with representatives from the then Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (the HMRC is the body responsible for ensuring that employers comply with the law on the National Minimum Wage) to highlight the need for more effective measures to tackle the long hours/no pay culture which new entrants face. BECTU continues to work with the relevant agencies on this issue.
National Minimum and Living Wage rules
If you are not a BECTU member and need advice on your rights at work, including to the national minimum wage or national living wage contact the employment advice service, ACAS, either online or call them on 0300 123 1100.
Latest industry guidance on work placements
Work experience? Internship? Volunteer? Apprentice? Trainee? - what rules apply? In July 2013, industry training body Creative Skillset launched an update to its earlier guidance. This is essential reading both for new entrants and employers. View the document here.
Creative Toolkit for new entrants
Creative Toolkit is a site for new entrants to the creative media and arts sector provided by BECTU. Visit the site. The site offers essential info on employment rights (including rules on the National Minimum Wage) and other issues. The site is supported by a set of Help Notes on key themes; these are also attached to this page for download. Email Creative Toolkit. Follow @creativetoolkit
Last page update 1 October 2016.