Fringe theatre and the national minimum wage – an Equity Council policy statement | 2009
In response to calls from a member of the Council for Equity to lobby for it to be made illegal for any entertainment employer to advertise unpaid work and for unpaid work in fringe theatre to be designated “amateur”, the Equity Council adopted a policy statement on fringe theatre:
- The national minimum wage was introduced by the government in the National Minimum Wage Act 1998 and the National Minimum Wage Regulations 1999 and applies to any individual defined as a worker.
- The national minimum wage legislation confers rights on an individual to make a claim. HM Revenue and Customs also has an enforcement power.
- The union does not have a right under existing legislation to make a national minimum wage claim but Equity can support a claim on behalf of and with the consent of a named individual or a number of named individuals.
- Equity has a fringe contract based on the national minimum wage which it recommends to members and encourages all fringe producers to use.
- Equity is aware that some members choose to work on the fringe for less than the national minimum wage for their own professional reasons and Equity acknowledges that there is widespread support from the membership for the fringe.