The union had wanted local actors and other production workers to be hired as full-fledged employees on union contracts.
The legislation clarifies that film industry workers are independent contractors rather than employees.
Earlier this week, they reached a deal which offers additional tax breaks to the movie-makers plus help with marketing costs, as well as the labour law change.
Taken from an article on the BBC News Site
I’m not sure if it’s $25 million per film, or $25 million for the first film, and a %15 tax breaks for production. Plus, as the quote mentions helping out with marketing costs, on top of changing the labour laws.
In case you’re wondering what the difference is between an independent contractor, and an employee in New Zealand law;
are not covered by the ERA or the Holidays Act 2003;
can (generally) be terminated by the provision of notice;
are responsible for their own ACC and tax payments; and
may need to be GST registered.
are covered by the Employment Relations Act 2000 (ERA);
have minimum legislative entitlements such as annual leave, public holidays, sick leave, and bereavement leave, as provided by the Holidays Act 2003;
cannot be lawfully dismissed unless there is substantive justification and a fair process is followed; and
fulfil their tax and ACC obligations through their employers.
So if ‘all’ workers in the film-industry are now automatically classed as independent, well, then they have lost a significant amount of rights that most take for granted.
When I come to think of this, most of the blame should be pointed squarely at Warner Bros. for forcing the hand of the New Zealand government. It’s an incredibly disgusting tactic that they have pulled - I did read that the unions retracted their demands, and yet Warner Bros. still threatened to take the work overseas. But still, the government should have told them straight. I doubt Warner Bros. would have followed through with it.