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.  

What is a fair minimum rate? Views from AI & The Humans

August 29, 2023 -

Hurray! New possibilities have been created to make collective (minimum) rate agreements for solo self-employed persons. We have read interesting legal perspectives in the other (highly readable!) contributions to this blog, concerning, for instance, their knock-on effects or wider relevance. It is now also time for some practical guidance for those who are starting their work with the new tools in the toolbox.

Monopoly power harms labour – competition authorities must learn to protect the vulnerable

July 5, 2023 -

Atypical work such as self-employment, part-time or seasonal work is a frequent feature in the media, arts and entertainment industry. This is also the case in many other sectors. Of course, being highly adaptable may have to come with the job. But there is also a fine line between looking for flexibility and enforcing precarity. Flexibility is a sought-after soft skill. Precarity is a consequence of workers having to accept any working condition in order to get a job.

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.

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