Workplace relations in the screen industry

A law change is on the way for contractors working in New Zealand’s screen industry. The changes, proposed by industry and supported by Government, will allow contractors to bargain collectively about their working terms and conditions.

Currently, most workers in New Zealand’s screen industry are contractors who cannot challenge their employment status. They are therefore not entitled to employment rights, including the right to negotiate working conditions collectively.

In 2018, the Government brought together industry, business and worker representatives to design a model that allows collective bargaining in the screen industry.  The Government has agreed to their recommendations, and has now introduced the Screen Industry Workers Bill to implement them.

These are the key aspects of the new model:

  • Whether a screen production worker is a contractor or an employee will continue to be determined solely by the type of written agreement they have. A “screen production worker” is a person involved in the creation of films, programmes, commercials and games.
  • A new duty of good faith will require parties to a contract not to mislead or deceive one another.
  • Contractors doing screen production work must have written contracts with mandatory terms about contract termination and protection from bullying, discrimination and harassment.
  • Contractors doing screen production work will be able to bargain collectively in their occupational groups and at the production/company level.
  • A tiered dispute resolution system will support parties to resolve issues that may arise, including access to mediation and facilitation.

Now that the Screen Industry Workers Bill has been introduced, it will go through the Parliamentary process, and is subject to change. We expect Parliament to pass the changes into law in mid-2020 and any new occupation-level collective contracts to take effect from 2021. You can provide comments on the draft law when it is before Select Committee.

Download the factsheet about the Screen Industry Workers Bill [PDF, 1.1 MB]

For more information about the changes, you can contact us at screenenquiries@mbie.govt.nz.

In this section

Information about the Screen Industry Workers Bill

The Government has introduced the Screen Industry Workers Bill to Parliament. The Bill proposes a new model, developed by industry and supported by Government, to allow screen industry contractors to bargain collectively.

Background

Background information and associated documents related to workplace relations in the screen industry.