The Department of Employment and Labour is urging stakeholders in the industry to make inputs on the Basic Conditions of Employment Act notice, which was issued by Minister Thulas Nxesi in December 2019.
Nxesi issued the notice with the intention of deeming persons in the film and television industry as employees for the purposes of the National Minimum Wage Act and the Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act.
The notice, titled ‘Intention to Deem Persons in the Film and Television Industry as Employees for Purposes of Some Parts of the Basic Conditions of Employment Act and Labour Relations Act’, was published in the Government Gazette. It was issued in terms of Section 83(2) of the Basic Conditions of Employment Act (BCEA).
The notice seeks to afford actors and crew members the same rights as other workers, including sick leave, maternity leave, severance pay, proof of incapacity and compensation claims for occupational accidents/diseases.
Nxesi issued the notice shortly after actress Vatiswa Ndara, in an open letter to Sports, Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa, painted a sordid state of affairs in the industry. In the letter, Ndara urged government to take steps to protect industry practitioners from exploitation and underpayment.
The Department of Employment and Labour invited parties with an interest in the film and television industry to make written representations before 11 February 2020. The IPO Executive Committee submitted a formal response to the suggested legislative changes: Written Representations- Intention to Deem Persons in the Film and Television Industry as Employees_ (002)