Thursday, 30 April 2009

New laws and new powers for the actor

New legislation is now in place which will impose a fine of up to £5000 on any employer not paying the National Minimum Wage.
This applies to actors to, don't forget. We are classed as "workers" when we take on an engagement, as we still pay National Insurance Contributions. Just because we are self-employed doesn't mean that we waive all rights.
This can be backdated, so anyone that feels agrieved at a precious engagement they have done in the last three months can go here:

And those of us who see any job posted on a casting website that flouts the National Minimum Wage can go here:

We need to inundate HMRC with the many, many examples of non-paid work that we see every day. We all know the type: "An opportunity to work with a professional crew" which really means "The crew get paid, you don't".

Of course, there are some companies out there that are purely collaborative and are not paying anyone because they have no funding. I would exercise disgression if you think that this is the case. In most cases, I feel that those type of projects don't advertise for cast anyway as they are normally shows or films put together by a group of people that already know eachother. If you put yourself up for this type of project be very sure that they are being fully honest with you as regards to being a true "no budget" production.

At least you have some form of attack now if you find out later that they have been less than honest with you!

If you have any queries on what rates you should be paid, contact Equity.