the media and entertainment union
a sector of Prospect

Pic credit: BECTU/StefanoCagnoni/NationalTheatre2016

BECTU is the trade union supporting growing numbers of UK staff and freelancers working in the media and entertainment sectors. BECTU is a sector of Prospect.

We play an important role in representing and promoting the best interests of the industry’s workforce – in broadcasting, film, independent production, theatre and the arts, live events, digital media and allied areas. This is your invitation to join us. 


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

Our work on behalf of employees, whether full-time, part-time or on a fixed term contract, is as substantial as our efforts on behalf of the thousands of new and established industry freelancers, 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. We also support members on specialist issues such as tax, copyright, public liability insurance (PLI) and kit cover. In September 2017 we produced our first Freelance Survival Guide, which you can download here.

BECTU's group PLI policy, which provides cover for claims up to £10m, is one of the benefits most valued by our freelance members. From 1 May each year we renew the group policy; access for the full 12 months, or part year, is just £31 (2017-18).

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.

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


Current public campaigns centre on the needs of workers at Picturehouse cinemas, in VFX, and at the Royal Albert Hall. For BBC workers, 2017 has seen a year long review of terms and conditions, a process which is due to conclude in early 2018. Detailed negotiations on behalf of film and TV workers have broken important ground with a new TV Drama agreement introduced on 1 December 2017; this will be followed in April 2018 by the arrival of the first ever collective agreement for major motion pictures with budgets from £30m and above. Also underway is a UK-wide theatre survey which aims to be the basis for a review of the pay and grading features of the union's agreement with UK Theatres. Follow @bectu for more on the union's activity.

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 quality training, legal services and low-cost insurances for freelancers covering PLI and kit cover. Read about our top member benefits

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 17 December 2017.