New Zealand Parliament Pāremata Aotearoa

Restoring employment rights for screen industry workers

The purpose of the Screen Industry Workers Bill is to increase rights for screen industry workers, by allowing workers and businesses to set minimum terms together through collective bargaining.

Screen production staff working in front of a green screen.

Bill information

What is the bill about?

A 2010 law change meant that many screen production workers were excluded in the definition of ‘employees’ under section 6(d) of the Employment Relations Act 2000. This prevented them from accessing New Zealand’s employment law.

The only screen production workers who are covered by the Employment Relations Act are those who have a written employment agreement stating that they are an employee. Currently, most screen production workers in New Zealand are contractors.

What does the bill mean?

The employment status of a screen production worker depends on the type of written agreement they have and the type of work they do. The bill classifies screen production workers as individuals who work on the production and creation of films, advertising programmes, and computer-generated games in New Zealand.

This bill proposes to:

  • require all workers to have written contracts that contain compulsory terms, such as those relating to the ending of a contract, and protection clauses from bullying, discrimination, and harassment
  • set up negotiated occupation-wide collective contracts, individual contracts, and enterprise-specific contracts
  • introduce a dispute resolution system to sort issues that arise during the period of a contractual relationship or collective bargaining.

Who might the bill affect?

  • Screen production workers, both those who have and do not have an employment contract
  • Screen production companies and workers operating in the film, advertising, and computer-generated game industries
  • Composers, directors, game developers, performers, post-production technicians, production technicians, and writers who work on screen productions.

What happens next?

The Screen Industry Workers Bill was introduced on 18 February 2020.

Please check the progress bar below to see which stage the bill is currently at.

Progress of the bill