the media and entertainment union
a sector of Prospect

11 November 2011

The StarNow performers agency will require its advertisers to confirm compliance with the National Minimum Wage Act following complaints about breaches of the law from BECTU and Equity.

The development is progress which BECTU hopes others willl follow to improve employment standards in the industry, particularly for new entrants. 

Trade publication The Stage writes on StarNow's new policy this week and acknowledges the efforts of BECTU and Equity in bringing about the welcome change.

National official Spencer McDonald is quoted as saying:

“This is good news that StarNow is tackling the low/no pay cycle, which is a significant problem in the entertainment sector. The move for a greater focus on employers’ responsibilities is always welcome news.”

As BECTU continues with activity to challenge employers found to be advertising unpaid work, officials are also liaising with the HMRC ahead of the start of its campaign to strengthen enforcement of the law in film, tv and fashion, all sectors where breaches of the regulations are rife.

The HMRC's project, which is due to run until March 2012, is expected to see officers visiting workplaces to advise employers on their obligations and to establish that all workers are being paid at least the national minimum wage. 

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Work experience candidate or internee in media or entertainment? If you are not being paid, tell BECTU about your experience. All replies will be treated in confidence.

In September this year BECTU launched Creative Toolkit, a site designed to help new entrants to understand and enforce their employment rights. Follow the site @creativetoolkit

The project received the backing of the Union Modernisation Fund, part of the Department for Business Innovation and Skills, in recognition of the needs of new entrants coming into a sector largely made up of small and medium scale employers, many of which rely on project based work, and where the demand for work outstrips supply.

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