Unequivocal advise has been issued this month that short films must pay actors NMW
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The UK government run business resource Business Link, it is now stated clearly AS AN EXAMPLE that minimum wage must be paid to actors in film:
‘Example 4 in the work experience and national minimum wage – examples:
Further examples of workers who are eligible for the national minimum wage (NMW)’
‘Ben takes up an acting role in a short film. He signs a form agreeing to work unpaid. However he is promised a small percentage of any future profits, a DVD copy of the film and tickets to the company’s releases for the rest of the year, but no salary.
Ben should be paid at least the NMW.
Note: An individual cannot sign away their rights to the NMW. Entitlement to the NMW depends on whether they are a worker.
Note: Ben isn’t a volunteer because he will get a reward for the work he does – the fact that no cash changes hands is irrelevant as benefits in kind that have a monetary value count as a reward.’
Please comment below if you welcome this clarity in the law.