Future of Collective Bargaining and Atypical Work in the Media, Arts and Entertainment Sector

This blog is an initiative of the trade union federations in the Media, Arts and Entertainment sector, who are the European social partners representing workers in the sector across Europe and beyond. It is a sector where “atypical workers” are a significant part of the picture in the labour market. Production and project-based working, as well as the wide range and diversity of workers involved in a given project, mean that multiple, short-term contracts and a variety of employment statuses are a common aspect of working in the sector. The concept of “atypical workers” includes workers who are not hired in a conventional way with a labour law contract, but under civil or commercial law, as well as those working on short-term and part-time contractual arrangements, whether an employment or service-provision contract. Depending on the national context, this includes different types of workers, such as self-employed own-account workers (without employees), workers hired under authors’ contracts, etc. These workers remain a vital part of the workforce in the sector and are highly flexible and highly skilled. Yet too often they remain vulnerable and inadequately covered by the protections offered to workers by labour law and conditions negotiated collectively. For trade unions they are a core, but sometimes hard to reach, group.  

The Dutch Touch:  Re-Examining the Recent Collective Bargaining Agreement for Freelance Musicians

April 17, 2023 -

Breaking news at the time of writing from across the channel brings a dire message to the sector from orchestral colleagues in the United Kingdom: the BBC announced a far-reaching  plan to slash the salaries of its fully employed orchestral musicians by 20% and will cut the distinguished choral group, the BBC Singers entirely.

The Screen Industry Workers Act in New Zealand

April 2, 2023 -

In October 2022 the New Zealand parliament passed the Screen Industry Workers Act which paves the way for collective bargaining for contractors working in the New Zealand screen industry.  The law provides a framework to, firstly, negotiate a collective contract that will set the minimum wages and working conditions for occupational groups working on screen production in the country and then, subsequently, the ability to negotiate additional ‘second tier’ collective agreements with individual enterprises or productions.

Collective bargaining for self-employed workers in the UK and the new EC Guidelines

November 3, 2022 -

Art. 101 TFEU remains embedded in UK law even after BREXIT. Like many other States the domestic legislation mirrors precisely the text of Art. 101. However, unlike some other EU countries, by and large competition law has not been used to suppress collective bargaining by the self-employed in the UK, though it has occasionally been threatened in some industries. 

European Union This project and publication have received the support of the European Union. The publication reflects the views of the authors only and the European Commission cannot be held responsible for any use of the information contained therein.