Film & TV recovery plan

Last updated: 25 Nov 2020

For many weeks now, Bectu has been working on very detailed guidance about exactly what our definition of safe-working practices will be if there is a return to work in the context of social distancing rules being in place.

Filming wearing protective gloves

Bectu guidance to members

For many weeks now, Bectu has also been working on very detailed guidance about exactly what our definition of COVID-19 safe-working practices is.

Scripted film and TV guidance
In scripted film and TV there are two documents that should be read together the British Film Commission Film and TV Production Code of Practice and Bectu’s guidance on Scripted Film and TV.

Bectu’s scripted film and TV recover plan was led by Jai Lusser of Bectu’s Assistant Directors Branch with contributions from hundreds of Bectu Representatives, representing approximately 15,000 members working in the UK film and TV sector. It contains detailed guidance on specific departmental work as well as an overview of the industry’s practices.

Read Bectu’s guidance.

Throughout April and May 2020, Bectu has been consulted by the British Film Commission (BFC) on their Film & TV Production Code of Practice, covering any return to workplaces during the COVID-19 crisis. Bectu have had a seat on the panel that commissioned the work.

This document has been sent to every employer in the ‘inward investment in film and high-end TV’ sector with a recommendation that their working practices should be based on it.

This document has been signed off by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and made public on the BFC website on 1 June.

See the BFC guidance

Unscripted: Factual, Entertainment and Outside Broadcast

UK broadcasters with input from Bectu have published their own guidance for factual, entertainment and outside broadcasting safeworking.

In response to this, Bectu reps agreed to produce detailed guidance to members on specific departmental safe-working standards and assemble it in one easy to read document the Bectu Report on Factual, Entertainment and Outside Broadcasting Recovery Plan.  Bectu reminds members that employers have a duty of care to workers that they hire, and no-one should work if they believe that they are doing so in a way that is unsafe. This document is intended to help workers give employers an agreed outline of what good safe-working entails in the event of a disagreement.

Working for commercials

Advertising Producers Association (APA) guidance

Working in post-production and VFX

UK Screen Alliance – Guidance for Safe Working in Post & VFX 

Understanding your right to stay safe at work

Bectu will always advise our members to exercise their legal right to refuse to work if they think their work environment is unsafe. The intention of Bectu’s guidance to its members is to provide supporting documentation so they can make an informed choice.

Separately, the union will be publishing advice to members on potential changes to working terms and conditions relating to sick-pay and payment for other COVID-19 absences.

As a union, we pay tribute to the many reps who have given up huge amounts of their time on a voluntary basis in pulling these documents together.

Spencer MacDonald, National Secretary
Bectu London Production Division and Regional Production Division