The Media and Entertainment Union

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Welcome to BECTU

I would have had no rights or even known of my rights if it wasn't for BECTU. Thank you for your expertise, your ears listening to my fears and stresses and your positive outlook. I will use this experience as an example to show people that the union is for everyone, that it makes sure voices are heard and that those voices are in solidarity but not without individuality, Chris Hutchings, Curzon Soho

BECTU is the trade union supporting UK staff and freelances working in the media and entertainment sectors. We play an important role in representing and promoting the best interests of the industry’s workforce – in broadcasting, film, independent production, theatre, the arts, games development and allied areas -  and we invite you to join us

The BECTU campaign highlights conditions for staff and freelances in factual TV production. 


Our site branches work with the many employers who negotiate with BECTU on the key terms affecting staff employment – job security, pay, training, maternity and paternity rights and health and safety for example.

Our work on behalf of staff, whether on full-time, part-time or on fixed term contracts, is as substantial as our efforts on behalf of the thousands of new and established industry freelances, without whom our creative sectors simply would not function.


Our freelance members are also organised in branches, according to geographical location or skills.  Here too, collective issues combine with individual casework, including help with monies owed, to define what we do. We also support members on specialist issues such as tax, copyright, and public liability insurance (PLI). BECTU's group PLI cover is one of the benefits most valued by our freelance members. From 1 May each year we renew the group policy. Currently the cover extends to £10m and members can access this for the full 12 months, or part year, for just £25.

Several of our freelance branches set  recommended rates for their skills groups and, typically, these are reviewed annually.

In all cases, our branch officials work with their national officials to respond to members’ needs.


Current campaigns centre on the needs of workers in VFX, in Sound and in Factual TV; in 2013 our campaign on behalf of low paid staff working for contractors at the BBC was successful;now all BBC contractors will pay their staff at least the Living Wage.  Also in 2013, we secured the right to represent staff at Curzon Cinemas and at Al Jazeera English. Follow @bectu for more on the union's activity.

New entrants

One of our biggest priorities is our work on behalf of new entrants. BECTU is a vocal campaigner on behalf of new entrants and we challenge employers who fail to comply with the national minimum wage. (New entrants should download the application form on this page).

BECTU also provides Creative Toolkit a site focused on the needs of new entrants. (Follow @creativetoolkit).

Young members in BECTU have also come together to set up the Young Members Forum - find out what they have to say!

Why join BECTU?

Join BECTU and you join your union - an organisation focused on supporting your career and improving your working conditions. The more members we have, the greater our influence on the employers and employers' associations we work with. Join BECTU and you also gain access to a range of additional benefits and services including legal services and low-cost insurances for freelances covering PLI and kit cover.  

Contact us

You'll find much more information about BECTU and its activities on this site. However if you'd like to contact us directly please email You can also follow us @bectu

Last page update 28 April 2015.

Freelances and PLI

Public liability insurance cover, up to £10m per claim, is available to the union's freelance members at low cost. (Just £25 for the policy which runs from 1 May 2015 - 30 April 2016).  More info on PLI hereJoin BECTU  More on benefits and services.

Crewbus freelance members directory - have you prepared your entry? Contact Sharon Elliott for more info.

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