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Workplace Changes for Workers in the Screen Industry
Proposed Bill or Initiative
Authors: Naomi Seddon, Shareholder and Merille Raagas, Counsel - Littler United States
Key changes in New Zealand’s workplace relations for the screen sector workers are set to be implemented soon. The New Zealand government has commenced drafting the legislation at the start of June 2019; the law is expected to be passed in mid-2020. The proposed changes aim to clarify whether or not screen sector workers are entitled to employment rights including collective bargaining. Screen sector work will include films, drama serials, commercials and video games. However, the exact coverage will be determined with more specificity in the development process of the legislation and in consultation with the screen industry. The occupational group may include performers, technicians, writers, visual effects artists and game developers. Once the changes are implemented mid next year, contractors will be able to bargain collectively with the help of industry bodies and organizations (i.e., unions or guilds). Set requirements for the union or guild representatives will be drafted and developed under the legislation around initiating, bargaining and ratifying agreements.