A new agreement covering major motion pictures production was decisively voted for by BECTU members in November 2017. It is the first of its kind in the UK and was implemented on 2 April 2018. The agreement has been welcomed across the industry and is the result of a successful partnership between union reps, producers and employers’ associations.
Below are some of the highlights. The full agreement is available for download from the BECTU website.

Please note that the agreement only applies to workers employed directly by the production companies, therefore not employees of VFX facilities, although this can change if enough VFX workers join the union and ask for it.

1.2 This Agreement will apply to all crew members engaged on Major Motion Pictures that commence principal photography after Monday 2 April 2018.

1.3 For the purposes of this Agreement, a Major Motion Picture shall mean a feature film intended for initial cinematic exhibition with a production budget equal to or in excess of £30,000,000 (Thirty Million Pounds Sterling) (the Major Picture Threshold).

2. The Working Day and the Working Week

2.1 The Standard Working Week
The Standard Working Week is a 55 hour 5 day work week. This can be varied by the producer upon payment of overtime and other premiums as set out in this Agreement, with the understanding that all overtime is voluntary.

2.2  The Working Day – All crew during pre-production and non-shooting crew during principal photography 
Outside the period of principal photography and/or for non-shooting crew members, the standard working day comprises 11 hours worked with 1 hour for lunch (the Standard Working Day or SWD).
(b) Post Production Crew: Post Production crew members will follow the Standard Working Week and the Standard Working Day applicable to non-shooting crew and will be entitled to Non-Camera Overtime, if applicable, in accordance with Section 3.3(a)(ii), but shall not be entitled to Camera Overtime. Start times will be the times at which each crew member starts work, which will not necessarily be the same as Unit Call times for the Post Production Department.
Lunch breaks may be ‘staggered’ under the direction of the 1st Assistant Editor or Post Production Supervisor in co-ordination with production, and post-production crew members will be expected to manage their own time in order to take their breaks. Lunch break penalties shall not apply.

3. Working Outside the Normal Working Day – Overtime

3.2 Prep and Wrap
(a) Specific Departments: For the following departments, the crew member’s rate is deemed to include, in addition to the 55 hours worked, up to 30 minutes at the beginning and 30 minutes at the end of each day, if required and in accordance with current working practices, without any overtime being due:
– ADs
– Accounts
– Costume
– Hair and Make-up
– Locations
– Production
– Script Supervisor
VFX

3.3 Overtime Rates
(a) For the purposes of calculating overtime, the crew member’s hourly rate is deemed to be his/her contractual weekly rate divided by 55 (Hourly Rate), or for daily crew members, his/her contractual daily rate divided by 11 (save for Rigging Electricians whose rates are as per clause 2.2(a)). Overtime will be calculated at either the Hourly Rate multiplied by 1.5 (1.5T) or the Hourly Rate multiplied by 2 (2T), depending on whether overtime comprises Camera Overtime or Non Camera Overtime (see subsections 3.3(a)(i) and (ii) below). The attached Appendix details examples of overtime rates.

(ii) Non-Camera Overtime including pre calls and de-rigs is paid at 1.5T for any overtime, payable in 30 minutes increments (and pro-rated accordingly for partial hours) and subject always to the Maximum Overtime Rate and the prep and wrap provisions of clause 3.2.

(c) For all crew members, the overtime rate may be no more than £81.82 per hour (Maximum Overtime Rate). For the avoidance of doubt the Maximum Overtime Rate shall apply to all hourly rates uplifted hereunder including in relation to 6th and 7th days, Bank Holidays and Broken Turnaround.

4. Working Outside the Normal Working Week – 6th and 7th Days
4.1 6th Days
(a) Any 6th consecutive day or night worked will be paid at 1.5T for actual hours worked, with a minimum guarantee of 6 hours for non-shooting crew and 8 hours for shooting crew.

4.2 7th Days
(a) Any 7th consecutive day worked will be paid at 2T for actual hours worked, with a minimum guarantee of 6 hours for non-shooting crew and 8 hours for shooting crew.

4.3 For the avoidance of doubt:
(a) Saturdays and Sundays shall not be paid as a premium day unless they are consecutive 6th or 7th days worked; and
(b) all hourly rates for 6th and 7th days are subject to the Minimum Camera Overtime Rate and capped at the Maximum Overtime Rate.

5.3 Broken Turnarounds
Producers should endeavour to give crew members eleven hours’ turnaround between the individual crew member’s wrap to his/her call (Turnaround Period). In the event of any shorter period of turnaround:
(a) the producer should wherever possible allow the crew member to take an equivalent period of compensatory rest, and shall in any event afford the crew member such protection as may be appropriate in order to safeguard the crew member’s health and safety; and
(b) in the event that a crew member is required to work during the Turnaround Period (Broken Turnaround) the crew member should be paid at 1.5T for any such time, which payment should accrue in 30 minute increments (and shall be pro-rated accordingly), subject to an overall cap of £45 per hour (or £22.50 per 30 minute increment).

5.4 Meal Breaks
(a) Standard Working Day (SWD): During principal photography crew members should be generally entitled to take their lunch break no later than 6 hours after unit call.

If non-shooting crew are asked by the producers to shorten their lunch break from one hour, then infringed time will be paid in 30 minute increments at 1.5T.
For the avoidance of doubt the Head of Department for non-shooting crew should manage their department so that crew members are able to take their lunch break (save as where requested above). In the event that such Head of Department wishes to curtail or delay the lunch break of crew members, prior approval must be sought from the Unit Production Manager, and the penalties above will apply.

5.6 Bank Holidays
(a) Where a crew member is contracted by the producer to work over a period which includes a United Kingdom official public holiday or foreign official public holiday where work takes place abroad (Bank Holiday), but the crew member is not actually required to work on that Bank Holiday, the crew member will be entitled to receive his/her daily fee for that Bank Holiday.
(b) If a crew member is required to work on a Bank Holiday, the crew member will be entitled to be paid at 2T during such Bank Holiday, whether the crew member is working on a weekly or longer term basis or is engaged as a daily.