UK government says short films must pay actors

Unequivocal advise has been issued this month that short films must pay actors NMW

Follow this link

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.

Posted in acting, actors, examples, Low Pay Commission, minimum wage, national minimum wage, nmw, NMW FACTS, Tribunal | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

This is a response to the recent NewsBlog in The Stage online. The comments filter does not allow all the hyperlinks required to substantiate the facts.  So this is the reposting with all the links.

Hi Georgie.

Au contraire, mon frere!

You will find that this is factual.

To see the document listing the ‘sustain’ award for Ms. Old Vic you can visit: The Arts Council site. 

The purpose of the funding according to the ACE. “Our funding will help to support the artistic programme at the Old Vic at a time when recessionary pressures have impacted income from corporate sponsorship.”

If you follow this link you can visit an article where we look at the OLD VIC’s own report to the Charities Commission. AMW has an excellent factual article about this.

There are lots of other interesting things you can learn about the Old Vic. They spent more than £500k on their education program but little of it went to the actors working in the Tunnels. Fascinating to learn the stated purpose of the Tunnels program

“Attract a new audience to the Old Vic Tunnels space play underneath Waterloo – in collaboration with Punchdrunk, leading audiences to the Old Vic”

So the Old Vic Tunnels exploits unpaid actors to lead audiences to their mainstage. All this in aid of their overall aims:

“To ensure the long term future for the theatre at the highest artistic level within London and beyond.”

About a year ago the Arts Council ‘Arts jobs’ website very responsibly has pulled the Old Vic’s adverts for unpaid actors and stage management (follow this link) yet still posted their own adverts.

And yes, Annie is a little pissed off with the OLD VIC. But so are a lot of other artists and workers. After a year of campaigning the OV continues to fob everyone off and ignore the moral questions of what they do. EQUITY and BECTU have both called around the place and they have made some headway. But the Old Vic Tunnels still trawl for professional actors using their mailing lists.

The Old Vic has attempted to bully Actors Minimum Wage with legal posturing, which was pretty provocative. But when they were asked a few straight forward questions they have yet to answer.

The Old Vic does have some friends though. They are regarded as a model “Big Society” project by the current COn-Dem coalition. In fact Mr Spacey himself collected the Big Award.

And the real gall of this is that, despite using professional and preprofessional ‘volunteers’ the award was given on the basis of the tunnels being a ‘community project.’

I did not know that dishonesty was such an important element of running a charity.

Shame on you Old Vic.

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This is a call to action for everyone in the Low Pay/No Pay network:  Send a message to all wannabe employers; minimum wage is here to stay. A runaway success like YMBBT has to pay!  This show sold out at the Barbican last year. YMBBT represents the largest single use of unlawfully unpaid actors.  Making them pay their actors this year will be a big victory for all working actors. Continue reading

Posted in acting, actors, examples, minimum wage, national minimum wage, Tribunal, tribunal opportunity | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments


ActorsMinimumWage has decided to enter the business of finding jobs for actors! The only hitch is that these jobs are advertised as unpaid or underpaid. You will have to take the company to tribunal to get your wages.

Of course there is nothing illegal in doing this. In fact, it’s becoming quite a trend. Actors, technicians, interns are all winning legal cases and financial remuneration for claimants (see recent AMW article).  You probably won’t even have to fight your case at tribunal. Most employers just pay out the wages to avoid going to tribunal. Many others don’t even show up. Equity will also support you in your claim, if they feel the case is winnable.

Oh, and why not use the share buttons to tell your acting friends about this ‘unmissable opportunity’ via facebook and twitter?

The Job: They Want You  (Feature Film) Continue reading

Posted in acting, actors, Equity, minimum wage, national minimum wage, nmw, solutions, Tribunal, tribunal opportunity | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Equity Young Members Committee leading union in using tribunals

The Equity Young Members Committee has given the Union it’s teeth back!  The following motion- passed at the Annual Representative Conference- will put the information in all members hands which will allow them to get paid via tribunal for unpaid and underpaid jobs.  Continue reading

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Tribunal roundup: Employers Dodging Minimum Wage Pay-up

Posted via TV Watercooler

In case there is any doubt about whether you should be paid if you are an intern (or unpaid actor) being treated as a worker, three recent industrial tribunals have all separately weighed in with a resounding YES!: Continue reading

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Has the National Trust launched the most humiliating internship ever? | Graduate Fog

via Has the National Trust launched the most humiliating internship ever? | Graduate Fog.

Published: April 12, 2011

In the last few months, Graduate Fog has seen some shocking displays of arrogance among those organisations which continue to expect young people to work for nothing, in the form of unpaid internships. But folks, this one takes the biscuit. The National Trust has advertised for Continue reading

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We Are Not Amused with the Old Vic

'We are not amused."

A major entertainment union has reached out to touch the Old Vic again. The issue; unpaid workers.  Looks like there are concerns that the Old Vic Tunnels recruits unpaid actors for visiting companies. And these companies of course have a legal obigation to pay their actors and other workers.

The companies involved have been telling those of us making enquiries that they are exempt under Section 44 of the NMW regulations.  They are not exempt. The Section 44 exemption only applies Continue reading

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Discuss: Widening Participation

Unpaid acting work deters widening participation at drama schools.


Aside | Posted on by | Leave a comment

Any film producers want to go on TV?

Hello- saw this request on Nick Thomas-Webster’s ‘Unpaid Extras in the UK?? Not any more’ Facebook group.  Thought I might put it out there to see if anyone could help.  Nick is the chap who just won a tribunal against a film company that contracted him as an unpaid artist.

Hey I have been asked to do a series of TV Interviews and chat shows about the unpaid film business Continue reading

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