Category Archives: Employment Law and Rights

Bectu mental health hub

This webpage on the Bectu site includes links to our campaign to give workers the right to switch off from work along with guidance on managing mental health and stress at work, along with some of the union’s work on … Continue reading

Posted in Bullying and Harassment, Health & Safety, Illness and disability, Mental Health, Wellbeing, Work-life balance | Tagged | Leave a comment

Labour market enforcement – update

Reading my copy of PIRC’s quarterly Work newsletter, I see that there’s no mention of the budget / timetable for the proposed Single Enforcement Body (SEB) that we are hoping to see from the UK government. There is an ongoing … Continue reading

Posted in Employment Contracts, Employment Law and Rights, Gig economy workers, Low pay, Minimum wage rates, Wages and Pay-rates | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Halyna Hutchins – Rust producers – “demonstrated plain indifference to employee safety”

There’s a lot more investigating to take place, not least into the question of how a live round ended up in a prop gun. But here’s CCN’s account of the report released by New Mexico Environment Department’s Occupational Health & … Continue reading

Posted in Equipment and kit, Health & Safety, Safe working practices, Safe working standards, Whistleblowing | Tagged | Leave a comment

Useful bookmarks on freelance employment and tax policies

Here’s something written by Alan Lockey for Demos – “Free Radicals – Britain’s self-employed millions urgently need a new deal…” [pdf], and an IPSE’s 2017 ‘tax manifesto’ paper on “A Fairer, More Efficient Tax System” [pdf] (h/t Martin McIvor)

Posted in Freelance working, Freelancer rights, Gig economy workers, IR35, Personal Service Companies, Tax, Welfare and benefits | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Your day-one right to a written statement of particulars (and a wider written statement within two months)

You may already be aware that, since 2020, employees and workers now have a right to a written statement of employment particulars before they start work. Details of what should be on that ‘principal statement’ can be seen on that … Continue reading

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Understanding self-employed pension tax relief

I occasionally have contact from freelance members who aren’t happy that they have been enrolled into a pension scheme as a result of the statutory auto-enrolment. My normal response is – firstly – to remind members that they are turning … Continue reading

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Understanding ‘Umbrella Companies’

I’ve just been preparing an explanation of how Umbrella Companies work to a Bectu member. Just writing it down is a reminder of what an obnoxious arrangement this is when you move people onto these – and this is what … Continue reading

Posted in Employment intermediaries, Employment Law and Rights, Gig economy workers, Pensions | 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

Tax avoidance and Umbrella Companies

I’ve been to a presentation from HMRC about a website that they have launched that is aimed substantially at people who are being asked to work through an Umbrella Company. It tells them how they can avoid charges of tax … Continue reading

Posted in Employment Contracts, Employment intermediaries, Employment Law and Rights, Employment status, Gig economy workers, IR35, Loan arrangements, Tax | Tagged | 1 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 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

Fire and Rehire – ACAS put down a few pointers

In 2020, a few VFX facilities threatened to ‘fire and rehire‘ to force members to accept lower terms. It’s a big issue in the wider trades union movement too. It’s an unpopular practice, and the government recently scuppered a bill … Continue reading

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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

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

Natasha’s Law – UK Food Labelling Resource

You will probably have noticed the fact that there has been a change in legislation relating to the responsibilities caterers face on food labelling, specifically relating to allergies. The new food labelling legislation in the UK such as the UK … Continue reading

Posted in Illness and disability, Safe working practices, Safe working standards, Wellbeing | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Violation Tracker UK

Violation Tracker UK is a search tool that brings together data on a range of regulatory infringements committed by companies across the United Kingdom, including employment tribunal data. It has been put together by the Corporate Research Project of Good … Continue reading

Posted in Employment Law and Rights, Regulation, Trades Unions | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

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

Homeworking will help improve women’s careers

The option to work from home is likely to help employers retain valuable workers, and can make the balance of work and childcare a lot easier to manage. It is likely to result in more ‘returners’ after periods of maternity … Continue reading

Posted in Equality, Family rights, Gender equality, Gender pay, Remote working, Work-life balance | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

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

Women more likely to leave the Theatre sector post-pandemic

A survey [pdf], earlier this year, by Parents and Carers in the Performing Arts (PIPA) highlights a survey it did of members, which showed that 43% of parents or carers were considering abandoning their career because of the pandemic. The … Continue reading

Posted in Coronavirus, Disability equality, Equality, Family rights, Gender equality, Theatre and Live Events data, Wellbeing | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in Employment, Employment Law and Rights, Family rights, Productivity | Tagged | Leave a comment

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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DNEG to pay overtime

A major UK VFX facility has finally broken ranks and agreed to pay overtime rates for all work recorded over 40 hours in a week. “Beginning in October, we will pay overtime at 1.5x rate for any incremental time that … Continue reading

Posted in Employment Contracts, Long hours, Recruitment and organising, Trades Unions, Work-life balance, Workplace conflict | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

MPs call for Pension ‘sidecar’ to help workers with no/low cash reserves

This is not news (it’s dated April 2021), but something that Prospect’s pensions specialist Stewart Mott has pointed me at. Broadly, it’s a proposal for a new ‘sidecar’ savings mechanism within pension auto-enrolment to encourage employees to build up emergency … Continue reading

Posted in Gig economy workers, Low pay, Pensions, Welfare and benefits | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Benefits of collective bargaining – more paid holiday

From an ETUC (European TUC) press release: “Workers who benefit from collective bargaining enjoy up to two weeks extra paid holiday per year, an analysis of EU data for the ETUC has found as millions prepare to return to work … Continue reading

Posted in Employment Law and Rights, Long hours, Wellbeing, Work-life balance | Tagged | Leave a comment

Scotland to trial four-day week

….but without a loss of pay. More on the BBC website.

Posted in Employment Law and Rights, Long hours, Mental Health, Productivity, Wellbeing | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Post-lockdown mental health concerns among theatre workers

From The Stage [£]: “Half of backstage workers are considering leaving their career and more than two thirds do not think that employers have put adequate mental health support in place for their post-Covid return to work, according to a … Continue reading

Posted in Bullying and Harassment, Disability equality, Freelance working, Gig economy workers, Health & Safety, Illness and disability, Management, Mental Health, Theatre and Live Events data, Wellbeing, Workplace conflict | Tagged | Leave a comment

Labour shortages increase potential industrial muscle for workers

Today’s FT is full of news about how labour shortages are hitting the economy in numerous ways as a result of multiple market failures [£] which includes the pandemic, the pingdemic, market failure but obviously, we can’t add brexit to … Continue reading

Posted in Coronavirus, Economics, Employment, EU & Brexit, Gig economy workers, Inflation, IR35, Migration & working abroad, Pay & inflation, Productivity | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

The Freelance Deal: 1. Employment Rights, Tax and Pensions

This is the first draft of the policy document that has been agreed by the Tax, Employment Rights and Pensions Working Group of London Production Division (LPD) on the 7th May 2020. It is a contribution to Bectu’s proposed ‘New … Continue reading

Posted in Employment Contracts, Employment Law and Rights, Employment status, Freelance working, Freelancer rights, Gig economy workers, IR35, Long hours, Management, Pensions, Personal Service Companies, Skills & capacity, Tax, Welfare and benefits, Wellbeing, Work-life balance | Tagged | Leave a comment

Freelancers’ right to covid-protective clothing

I’m sharing, word-for-word, an email I’ve received from the TUC. I’m posting it here in case any members who are freelancers, have been asked to provide their own PPE, and have felt that – as a result – they have … Continue reading

Posted in Coronavirus, Coronavirus, Employment Law and Rights, Employment status, Freelance working, Freelancer rights, Gig economy workers | Tagged | Leave a comment

Umbrella Companies and employment rights

There have been a number of posts on this site already about Umbrella Companies, but I’ve had an enquiry about employment rights for people engaged through such a company. The Low Incomes Tax Reform Group has published a useful briefing … Continue reading

Posted in Employment status, Freelance working, Freelancer rights, Gig economy workers, IR35, Tax | Tagged | Leave a comment

Ban Umbrella Companies?

The TUC is calling for a ban on Umbrella Companies [pdf]. The document under that link also outlines what they define as an Umbrella Company – I’ll be reading this in some detail as I think there may be some … Continue reading

Posted in Employment Contracts, Employment intermediaries, Employment Law and Rights, Freelance working, Freelancer rights, Personal Service Companies | Tagged | Leave a comment

Employers minimum-wage shame list and how it affects freelancers

From an HMG press release earlier today: Today (Thursday 5 August) 191 businesses are being named for breaking the national minimum wage law. Following investigations by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs, a total of £2.1 million was found to be … Continue reading

Posted in Employment Law and Rights, Freelancer rights, Low pay, Minimum wage rates, Pay & inflation, Wages and Pay-rates | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Crib sheet from the RSA on employment statuses

You can download this here [pdf]

Posted in Employment Law and Rights, Employment status, Freelance working, Freelancer rights, Gig economy workers | Tagged , | Leave a comment

How expenses work for the employed and self-employed

There’s a good rule of thumb that applies both to Employees and the Self Employed: You are expected to pay for a meal out of your own pocket if you are working from home, or if you are at a … Continue reading

Posted in Employment Law and Rights, Equipment and kit, Freelance working, Tax | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment