Monthly Archives: June 2021

6ft From The Spotlight

6ft From the Spotlight is a non profit Community Interest Company set up to improving the mental wellbeing of music and film crew in the UK. Founder Matt Longley has posted on the Bectu blog here: “In the film and … Continue reading

Posted in Bullying and Harassment, Film & TV industry policy, Freelance working, Long hours, Mental Health, Sexual harassment, Workplace conflict | Tagged | Leave a comment

Will Biden’s stimulus package cause inflation?

The LSE blog summarises the arguments with a panel of US experts expressing their views on the likelihood of the economy ‘overheating’ and causing inflation as a result.

Posted in Economics, Inflation | Tagged | Leave a comment

On streaming and the left-behind creators

“If streaming is a song economy, why is the songwriter the last and least to be paid?”@IvorsAcademy CEO @GrahamIDaviesUK explores the value of the strong in the streaming era, and what needs to change to #FixStreaming 👉 https://t.co/ytZNx7cPqp#BrokenRecord #KeepMusicAlive — … Continue reading

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Understanding National Insurance Contributions (NICs) for the self-employed

Employees generally pay higher NICs than the self-employed unless they are very low paid. This is because Class 2 NICs are currently charged at a flat rate of £3.05 per week (2021-2 figures) If you are self-employed, you pay two … Continue reading

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BFI launches UK skills review

From the BFI website: “The BFI is undertaking a major strategic skills review on behalf of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS). The review will be conducted in close collaboration with the industry-led skills body ScreenSkills, national … Continue reading

Posted in EU & Brexit, Factual & Entertainment sector data, Feature film data, Film & TV industry data, Film & TV industry policy, High End TV data, Skills & capacity | Tagged | Leave a comment

Self-employed difficulties with tenancies.

In some cases, the self-employed are finding it almost impossible to find tenancies because of fears over irregular incomes, reports The Times [£].

Posted in Freelance working, Gig economy workers, Housing costs | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

How to understand economics

…”heterodox economics” is what I call “stuff I remember learning in the 1980s”…. It is the rediscovery of old truths which were forgotten after the late 80s. Chris Dillow on ‘the great forgetting’ of economic truths.

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Mandatory vaccination

Useful summary of both sides to the argument here,

Posted in Coronavirus, Coronavirus, Employment Law and Rights | Tagged | Leave a comment

Treatment of young workers in TV

There’s a strong article on the Royal Television Society’s website here about the treatment of young workers in the TV sector. “I interviewed a mix of male and female professionals, spread across different TV genres, in production and post-production roles, … Continue reading

Posted in Bullying and Harassment, Freelance working, Long hours, Mental Health, Sexual harassment, Workplace conflict | Tagged | Leave a comment

TUC report on Long Covid

The TUC has published a report on workers’ experiences of Long Covid – here. “Almost three in 10 respondents (29%) had been experiencing long Covid symptoms for 12 months or more. This length of time is significant because in order … Continue reading

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How Brexit could effect drama exports

More on the Audiovisual Media Services (AVMS) EU broadcast quotas. “Last year, EU countries agreed that 30% of offerings on streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime should be European-made. The concern among some EU capitals is that currently the … Continue reading

Posted in EU & Brexit, High End TV data, Quotas, SVoD | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Tit-for-tat and how to encourage co-operation

Something on direct reciprocity (I may post on ‘indirect reciprocity’ another time). When workers decide to stick together, against a powerful adversary, the ability to trust each other is very important. If two workers agree to stick to a rate … Continue reading

Posted in Game theory, Organising Skills | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

TV firm accused of mishandling sexual assault complaint

Two female former staffers at the multi-Bafta-winning independent production company behind Netflix’s The Crown have accused it of badly mishandling a complaint about a male senior executive who sexually and physically assaulted them following a work event. From The Guardian … Continue reading

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Autism awareness

A personal observation. If I could predict one of the biggest changes that we will see over the next ten years, it will be that the way we understand autism will improve and it will change the way we relate … Continue reading

Posted in Equality | Tagged | Leave a comment

“The beast of inflation”

Haldane has warned of the “beast of inflation” stalking the land once more, with booming demand, labour shortages and supply-chain disruption risking a “wage-price spiral familiar from the 1970s and 1980s”. For Haldane, that warrants action to reduce the scale … Continue reading

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Rates and terms on ‘Workshop Hours’

Bectu’s SFX Branch ratecard [pdf] is worth a close look for anyone who is interested in the issue of ‘Workshop Hours’. A bit of backstory first. In Bectu’s view, our agreements should have at least two different time-matrixes:

Posted in Long hours, Major Motion Picture Agreement, TV Drama Agreement | Tagged | Leave a comment

Pandemic impact on women’s employment

We expected women to be hardest hit jobs wise by this crisis – but we were wrong… new deep dive into the gender impact of covid out today https://t.co/NDcTQX1Kqs pic.twitter.com/hEsWzNXefz — Torsten Bell (@TorstenBell) June 14, 2021

Posted in Equality, Gender representation, Gig economy workers, Low pay | Tagged | Leave a comment

HSE “review” of its Enforcement Management Model

The HSE has conducted a “review” of its Enforcement Management Model in relation to Covid-19, following pressure from HSE Board members, the TUC, and unions. Particularly, there was concern over the categorisation of Covid as ‘significant’ rather than ‘serious’; and … Continue reading

Posted in Coronavirus, Coronavirus | Tagged | Leave a comment

Tim Davie on the future of the BBC

Tim Davie on the future of the BBC https://t.co/1isPfIVKyO | opinion — Financial Times (@FT) June 15, 2021

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Long-Covid – teachers union calls for it to be treated as a disability under the Equality Act 2010

More than one million people in the UK are now living with Long Covid, with teachers and education support staff the second most likely profession to be affected, only just behind healthcare workers. The debilitating condition includes symptoms of the … Continue reading

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Employers forcing workers back to the workplace – unions raise safety concerns

New TUC polling reveals that nearly 1 in 10 (9%) staff have been put under pressure by bosses to return to the workplace – a number that rises to over 1 in 6 (17 %) for disabled workers. This is … Continue reading

Posted in Coronavirus, Coronavirus, Remote working | Tagged | Leave a comment

Has the Covid epidemic altered workers’ retirement plans?

The FT is reporting that, as a result of Covid-19, nearly 1/3rd of workers over 50 (who aren’t already retired) either delayed their expected retirement date (by an average of three years) or given up altogether trying to second guess … Continue reading

Posted in Coronavirus, Economics, Pensions, Wealth inequality | Tagged , | Leave a comment

ESM4130 – Particular Occupations: Entertainment Industry: TV and Radio Presenters (IR35)

HMRC have published new tax guidance for TV and Radio presenters – ESM4130. This concept will be familiar to many Bectu members who are covered (or not, as the case may be) by ESM4118 covering ‘behind the camera’ crew.

Posted in BBC, ESM4118, IR35 | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Housing market update

Today’s news about inflation topping the 2% target (driven by consumer spending and rising fuel costs) opens up the question of a possible rise in interest rates. and House prices are still soaring (thanks to the Stamp Duty holiday among … Continue reading

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Streaming channels investing largely in European production

Alex Barker at the FT[££] is reporting on the tide of investment in local content that SVOD is generating. in 2020, more than 60% of Netflix’s exclusive TV/films were made outside the English-speaking world and recent research has more than … Continue reading

Posted in Culture policy, Feature film data, Film & TV industry data, High End TV data, Public Service Broadcasting, Quotas, SVoD, Tax incentives | Leave a comment

Reminder: Current status of HMG is that there are no plans to change EU-consistent workers rights

“In a sign of the political problems associated with scrapping existing rules — many of them EU regulations written into the UK statute book ….. business secretary Kwasi Kwarteng finally told ITV News: “The review is no longer happening within … Continue reading

Posted in Employment Law and Rights, EU & Brexit | Tagged , | Leave a comment

TUC calls for furlough to be extended to match lockdown extensions

Frances O’Grady: “Government must delay asking businesses to make contributions to the furlough scheme in July and extend the scheme as long as needed.”

Posted in CJRS & SEISS, Coronavirus, Trades Unions | Tagged | Leave a comment

Unions co-ordinating globally to challenge Amazon

Amazon workers from Italy to India are uniting to form a global movement that may have found Jeff Bezos’s Achilles heel.

Posted in Gig economy workers, Trades Unions | Tagged | Leave a comment

Upward pressures on low-pay casual wages

This, from the US. It will be interesting to see how the same thing plays out in the UK, with the added spice of Brexit and migration. In the US, one in four workers thinking of leaving their jobs, according … Continue reading

Posted in Coronavirus, EU & Brexit, Gig economy workers, Low pay, Minimum wage rates, Pay & inflation, Wages and Pay-rates | Leave a comment

Film & TV Production Restart Scheme (Covid)

There is a Film & TV Production Restart Scheme that is designed to cover some of the Covid-related risks to productions including crew-related costs and other costs resulting from actions of the civil authorities (i.e. lockdowns etc). This Scheme has … Continue reading

Posted in Coronavirus, Coronavirus | Tagged | Leave a comment

“For most people, becoming self-employed is a bad idea.”

So said Danny Blanchflower (the economist, not the footballer) back in 2011. “…there is also little evidence that countries with higher self-employment rates are more successful on any outcome measure. The problem with self-employment is that failure rates are high … Continue reading

Posted in Employment, Freelance working, Gig economy workers, Ownership & Control | Tagged | Leave a comment

Is IR35 having a significant impact on self-employment?

More from The Resolution Foundation – two posts in one day! Rick has noticed a pronounced change. Lots to chew on in @resfoundation Labour Market Outlook. Overall employment rate down but an increase in full-time employees. Male self-employment seems to … Continue reading

Posted in Economics, Employment, Gender representation | Tagged | Leave a comment

Is “Supply supply supply” not the housing policy fix people think it is?

With property prices being one of the biggest drivers of inequality, this thread (lots of tweets, lots of arguments) challenges idea that we just need to build more homes. Why SupplySupplySupply won’t solve the #housing affordability problem #1 ‘we are … Continue reading

Posted in Economics, Equality, Wealth inequality | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Gender-based violence facilitated by social media

Technology facilitated gender-based violence targets women with high visibility or public presence. Report [pdf]

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Low-paid most likely to be unemployed when furlough ends.

Low-paid workers face the highest risk of losing their jobs when the UK government’s furlough scheme ends in September, according to analysis by the Resolution Foundation.

Posted in CJRS & SEISS, Coronavirus, Employment, Wealth inequality | Tagged , | Leave a comment