Late last year the South African Minister of Labour issued a notice calling for interested parties to make submissions on a proposal to deem persons who provide services in relation to film and television as “employees” for the purposes of specific parts of local employment law which if introduced would have the effect that such persons will enjoy the minimum rights of employees under South African employment laws specifically, annual, sick and maternity leave, severance pay upon retrenchment, cover in respect of occupational injuries, minimum wages and other benefits. On the face of it the proposed deeming would only apply to individuals engaged as such and not to persons who work or are assigned to a film or TV set but who are employees of 3rd party corporate service providers. However, other provisions may deem the entity (for example, the production company) that engages the 3rd party service provider as being equally liable to comply with such minimum benefits.
Interested parties are invited to make submissions on proposal.
The proposal has given rise to wide spread concern as to the exact implications thereof and the long term effects on the South African industry.
Local producers and their funding partners will have to carefully consider the possible effects upon future projects and the structure of their engagement with role-players.
Hopefully, laws will not be introduced that cause adverse consequences for the industry but structuring correct but appropriate contractual relationships on existing and future projects will be required to avoid or mitigate uncertainty and unbudgeted costs and delays.
Fluxmans is compiling and will submit representations on the Minister’s proposal by no later than 10 February 2020 and we welcome contributions on any aspect from any of our valued clients or interested persons.
By Peter Kemp