Category Archives: Economics

Inflation update (spoiler alert: it’s not good news)

Towards the end of last year, economic forecasters could safely have been described as ‘alarmed’ by inflation figures. I don’t post on this every month (the last real mention was here) and I was briefing members towards the end of … Continue reading

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BFI Screen Business report details the scale of the UK production boom

Anyone who has any doubts about the size and scale of the UK production boom can have a look at the latest BFI Screen Business report (if the annual Pact Census most recently published in September wasn’t convincing enough!). The … Continue reading

Posted in BBC, Economics, Factual & Entertainment sector data, Feature film data, Film & TV industry data, Film & TV industry policy, High End TV data, Public Service Broadcasting, Quotas, Skills & capacity, SVoD, Tax incentives, UK studios | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

What do employers need to do to retain talent?

It’s something of a recurring theme from the Pensions & Investment Research Consultants (PIRC), but all of the research (including their own work with Autonomy and Survation – [pdf]) point to a need to pay people better, treat them with … Continue reading

Posted in Economics, Employment, Employment Law and Rights, Long hours, Low pay, Management, Mental Health, Productivity, Wellbeing, Work-life balance | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Working terms in Swedish productions

It’s always worth looking at how other countries do work hours in the film and TV industry, and it is a commonplace view that the Swedish drama sector manages a high quality of production on working hours that also give … Continue reading

Posted in Bectu Agreements, Employment Law and Rights, EU & Brexit, Factual & Entertainment sector data, Feature film data, Film & TV industry data, Health & Safety, High End TV data, Long hours, Major Motion Picture Agreement, Productivity, SVoD, Tax incentives, Trades Unions, TV Drama Agreement, Work-life balance | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

The Relph Report (2002) on low budget films

In 2022, our Copyright Committee will be looking at issues relating to ‘residuals’ – giving workers ‘points’ in films that they work on. Just going through the archives, I’ve found The Relph Report from 2002 [pdf] that talked about how … Continue reading

Posted in Copyright & Intellectual Property, Economics, Low budget features, Low pay | Leave a comment

“… the self-employed remain something of an inconvenient afterthought”

There’s a useful post here from Paul Johnson of the Institute of Fiscal Studies highlighting a number of factors that leads to the conclusion that our ecoomy and employment / tax / benefits framework has been designed around an economy … Continue reading

Posted in CJRS & SEISS, Coronavirus, Economics, Employment Law and Rights, Employment status, Freelance working, Freelancer rights, Gig economy workers, Management, Personal Service Companies, Productivity, Welfare and benefits | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Why ‘the freelance deal’ is a big deal – and not just for the workers concerned.

There’s a long read on this site about the ‘contingent production army’ that manages large parts of the entertainment industry. Thinking about this issue, and processing it has allowed me to get a clearer idea of what our grievances are … Continue reading

Posted in Bullying and Harassment, Disability equality, Employment, Employment Law and Rights, Employment status, Equality, Freelance working, Freelancer rights, Gender equality, Gig economy workers, Health & Safety, IR35, Long hours, Management, Mental Health, National Insurance Contributions (NICs), Occupational Health, Personal Service Companies, Productivity, Race equality, Tax, Theatre and Live Events data | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

You need a 7.1% pay-rise to stand still.

In the light of today’s news about cost-of-living increases… With tax rises in April and inflation set to hit 5% someone on average earnings will need a wage rise of over 7% to keep their living standards constant https://t.co/UpkxBM1Iku — … Continue reading

Posted in Inflation, Pay & inflation | Tagged , | Leave a comment

BEIS consultation on flexible working

The BEIS is currently consulting on flexible working – “Making Flexible Working the Default” – here [pdf]. “This consultation includes a set of proposals which are built around the principle that working arrangements are best decided through a constructive, open-minded … Continue reading

Posted in Employment Contracts, Gender equality, Gender representation, Health & Safety, Long hours, Productivity, Safe working practices, Safe working standards, Wellbeing, Work-life balance | Tagged | Leave a comment

Cost of living price rises – it’s all bad news

There’s lots of bad news around for anyone who isn’t enjoying significant wage rises at the moment. ONS figures are reporting that the consumer prices index (CPI) measure of annual inflation rose to 4.2% in October, up from 3.1% in … Continue reading

Posted in Economics, Inflation, Low pay, Minimum wage rates, Pay & inflation, Wages and Pay-rates | Tagged , | 1 Comment

New ‘Living Wage’ published

The Living Wage Foundation has published their new ‘Living Wage’ rates – up from £9.50 to £9.90 across the UK (40p increase), and from £10.85 up to £11.05 in London (20p increase). The Living Wage rates are the only rates … Continue reading

Posted in Economics, Housing costs, Inflation, Low pay, Minimum wage rates, Pay & inflation, Wages and Pay-rates | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Reducing the carbon footprint of UK theatre

The LPD Member Forum had a good presentation from the Sustainability Working Group and I’ve already posted something here about film and TV industry initiatives on sustainability. The Theatre Trust also publish a Theatre Green Book – the second edition … Continue reading

Posted in Environment & Sustainability, Theatre and Live Events data | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Surprising-yet-unsurprising news about people thinking of leaving their jobs

The most surprising-yet-unsurprising nugget here is that “…the majority of those considering quitting had been offered no incentives to stay by their employers.” 📰📰NEW STUDY: How to Solve the Labour Market Crisis by Raising Standards Labour shortages are a principal … Continue reading

Posted in Economics, Employment, Inflation, Long hours, Low pay, Mental Health, Pay & inflation, The working environment, Wellbeing, Work-life balance | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Budget statement – quick reaction

Here’s a quick reaction to today’s Budget statement from Rishi Sunak. As ever, it’s worth waiting for a lot of this to be digested by economists and a range of more detailed briefings will be available in a few hours. … Continue reading

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National Living Wage will rise to £9.50 an hour

The 59p increase for workers over 23 – up 6.6% from £8.91 reflects the inflationary pressure outlined here a few weeks ago. The new rates will rise from 1 April 2022 as follows: National Living Wage for over-23s: From £8.91 … Continue reading

Posted in Economics, Inflation, Low pay, Minimum wage rates, National Insurance Contributions (NICs), Pay & inflation, Tax, Trades Unions, Wages and Pay-rates, Wealth inequality | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Drivers particularly badly hit by soaring costs

In news that will particularly hit film freelancers, car costs are soaring. Secondhand cars are costing up to 60% more than they did in 2019, and the price of petrol is climbing rapidly. The weekly road fuel prices stats on … Continue reading

Posted in Economics, Environment & Sustainability, Inflation, Pay & inflation | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Devaluing arts education

I don’t want to get too diverted into a focus into the general question of arts education, its status, and funding (we’re fighting on enough fronts already at the moment), but one of the post-Brexit realignments that are being talked … Continue reading

Posted in Culture policy, Economics, Skills & capacity | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Public Service Broadcasting – contestable funds under threat?

The dust has long settled on the Public Service Broadcasting Contestable Funds Consultation [pdf] from 2016 (the outgoing culture team were fairly keen on them but Nadine Dorries may not be), and the Times [£] has a worrying set of … Continue reading

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Flexible working – Arup explore the seven-day week

From Arup’s website: “Arup, the employee-owned global engineering and design firm, has today announced it is adopting an innovative hybrid model – known as Work Unbound – that will give its 15,500 employees, known as members, greater flexibility in deciding … Continue reading

Posted in Employment, Employment Law and Rights, Family rights, Gender equality, Remote working, Work-life balance | Tagged , | Leave a comment

UK commissioned productions losing crew talent to streamers

We’ve been saying it will happen for a while, but the wider world is beginning to notice. This, from the FT[£]; “Seetha Kumar, chief executive of ScreenSkills, said the “pinch points” were particularly acute in mid-tier roles — for which … Continue reading

Posted in Economics, EU & Brexit, Film & TV industry data, High End TV data, Regulation, Skills & capacity | Tagged | Leave a comment

Energy bills to rise by 50% between 2020 and 2022

With the impacts of soaring global gas markets on the energy bills, and the price cap rising by 12 per cent on 1 October, The Resolution Foundation is briefing that energy bills are set to rise by 50% between 2020 … Continue reading

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BBC Studios Appoints Tom Fussell as CEO

As reported in Variety. “Fussell will oversee BBC Studio’s “ambitious” plans for global expansion, its focus on employee engagement and wellbeing as well as diversity, inclusion and sustainability.”

Posted in BBC, Diversity of representation, Environment & Sustainability, Wellbeing | Tagged , | Leave a comment

What is happening to self-employment in the UK

The tl;dr answer is that it’s too early to tell. As mentioned previously here, there’s a lot of job-switching going on, and there is a generally tight labour market in the UK (and globally, though the UK has the added spice … Continue reading

Posted in Economics, Employment, EU & Brexit, Freelance working, Pay & inflation | Tagged , | Leave a comment

There’s a lot of job-switching going on

Following on from two posts here this morning about inflation/pay, and the tight labour market, here’s a third on the trinity of issues that are creating a fair wind for union-type demands at the moment. Sarah O’Connor in the FT … Continue reading

Posted in Economics, Employment, Low pay, Pay & inflation, Productivity, Wages and Pay-rates | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Got a pay claim coming up? Want advice on inflation, and stuff like that?

If you have a pay claim coming up and want advice on inflation, and stuff like that…. good luck! Firstly, the official, current inflation figures have not been as flimsy a guide as they are at the moment for a … Continue reading

Posted in Economics, Employment, EU & Brexit, Inflation, Pay & inflation, Productivity, Skills & capacity | Tagged | 3 Comments

“The tightest labour market in modern times”

This Twitter thread (below) is really worth a careful read for everyone who wants to understand the current state of the labour market. Firstly, the fears about mass redundancies at the end of furlough are just not materialising – if … Continue reading

Posted in Economics, Employment, Productivity | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Why unions matter – the economic argument

Here’s a web page that I return to fairly regularly when thinking about wage growth (or lack thereof). Firstly, there this:   And then there’s this: See the link?  

Posted in Economics, Low pay, Productivity, Trades Unions, Wages and Pay-rates | Tagged | Leave a comment

VAT gradually returning to normal rates

Since July 2020, there has been a reduced rate of VAT (5%, and not the normal 20%) charged on transactions in the leisure and hospitality sectors (which includes theatres and live events – a list of who it applies to … Continue reading

Posted in Economics, Employment, EU & Brexit, Inflation, Theatre and Live Events data, VAT | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Negotiating expenses for working in London (a guide for non-Londoners)

If (for example) you are based in Glasgow but you are asked to spend time working in London, what % uplift should you ask employers for when negotiating expenses? There’s a website called Numbeo that tracks and compares the cost … Continue reading

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Positive working environment “will lead to dramatic benefits for employers, employees, and the bottom line.”

Those bug-eyed Marxist fanatics over at the Harvard Business Review are making the case against aggressive management practices again: “…a large and growing body of research on positive organizational psychology demonstrates that not only is a cut-throat environment harmful to … Continue reading

Posted in Bullying and Harassment, Employment, Employment Law and Rights, Long hours, Mental Health, Productivity, Wellbeing, Workplace conflict, Workplaces | Leave a comment

Unscripted TV production has too few customers

Another very good article from the consistently smart Sarah O’Connor in the FT[£]. There’s little more to add than that Bectu members can substitute ‘broadcast commissioners’ for ‘supermarkets’ and a lot of this will ring true for them. It’s the … Continue reading

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Right to request flexible working to become a ‘day one right’?

The BBC are reporting that the right to request flexible working (currently something that employees have a statutory right to request after six months) can be requested on day one – when they start a new job. Employers would also … Continue reading

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Arts, entertainment and recreation 18.8% below its pre-covid levels

The ONS monthly estimate for July shows that the UKs Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew by only 0.1% in July and is still 2.1% below its pre-pandemic level. Most of the growth was in production output (up 1.2%) while construction … Continue reading

Posted in Coronavirus, Economics, Employment, Film & TV industry data, Productivity, Theatre and Live Events data | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Inflation – 3.2% in August

The increase in the cost of living, as measured by the Consumer Prices Index, has reached 3.2% in the year to August. But the ONS says that we shouldn’t read too much into this (very large) jump because… “The increase … Continue reading

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Continuous working week, shift work, working from home… some links.

From the FT [£]: “The decline of the “9 to 5” has been under way for decades. In 2010-11, 20 per cent of employees in the US worked more than half their hours outside the standard hours of 6am to … Continue reading

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