Equity is calling for clarity on European work visas for touring. The Government announced on 4 August that nineteen EU member states will allow performers short-term touring work without a need for a visa or a work permit.
However, the announcement was very short on detail, and the announcement was greeted with some scepticism as reported by The Guardian.
Because it’s such a short announcement, it’s hard to know what to make of it. Bectu are still trying to get clarifications on how this impacts other workers, including people working on films.
So what follows is one of those posts on here that needs a big disclaimer: This is my own, current, incomplete, and unverified understanding of the situation – and we are expecting a briefing from the film industry and will know more soon. We will know more soon, but our current understanding (check before acting on this please!!) is that, when working in the EU, UK workers engaged in film and TV productions can….
- Be in a Schengen country for a max of 90 days in a 180 day period. I’m not 100% sure how this works and I know that – in practice, it means any EU country (because for the purposes of the Single Market, the EU is one territory – perhaps the Schengen thing impacts on having to produce paperwork and passports?)
- Only do a max of 20 days “work” though “work” is defined in interesting ways –filming = work, being on a recce or sitting in a hotel room doing emails, etc isn’t, or so it seems.
- You can only do ‘work’ for four days in any given week. I reality, this translates to being able to work four days, and one day off, followed by another four days, etc.
There is the added complication that Ireland and the UK have a Common Travel Area which allows Irish and UK citizens the right to live, travel, work and study within that Common Travel Area.
If this applies elsewhere, then a “short tour” could be 25 days, of which 20 are worked, and workers will need to understand that they can’t return to work in the EU for another six months…
The Stage [£] adds that …
“Other questions raised include whether visa-free touring includes other creatives beyond musicians and performers and what progress has been made on an equivalent visa for those working in TV, film, audio, new media and other recorded work.”
Either way, Equity General Secretary Paul Fleming has written an open letter to Oliver Dowden Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport asking for further explanation on key issues affecting creatives working in the EU. More to follow, I hope…. (there may be some updates to this page on the Bectu site if there are any developments).