Deadline Extended for Submissions on Screen Industry Workers BillWednesday 13 May 2020
Deadline Extended for Submissions on Screen Industry Workers Bill
A new deadline for submissions to select committee has been extended to 25 May 2020.
To recap: Minister Iain Lees-Galloway introduced the Screen Industry Workers Bill to the House in February 2020. It had its first reading and was referred to a select committee just before the pandemic led to the country going into lock-down. Accordingly, SPADA (and the other FIWG members) requested for an extension, or suspension, of this Bill given the effect of COVID-19 on the sector. The outcome – a new deadline for submissions to select committee has been extended to 25 May 2020. The select committee will then have to report back to the House of Representatives by 6 August 2020. This is the same date the House rises before the election, which means the Bill’s progress will have to pause until after the election, when the next parliamentary session begins (you can find out more here).
In SPADA’s draft submission we outline the fact the current environment - it could take at least two years for the screen industry to recover, many production companies may not survive, and we simply do not know what the “new normal” will be for the industry. What we do know is that it will be a challenge, and there will be additional costs involved because of COVID-19 and health and safety requirements. Therefore, SPADA considers that it is not in the interests of the industry’s survival to introduce the prospect of complex and potentially contentious industrial negotiations while the industry is struggling. It is an unwelcome distraction and unity is needed. In our submission we request a suspension of the Bill’s progress, notwithstanding this request, if the Bill is to progress, then it is absolutely vital that the Government ensures the sector – and in particular SPADA, who would have multiple negotiations to undertake - is properly resourced to undertake the industrial negotiations.
We will continue to keep members informed on the Bill's progress. SPADA members are welcome to make individual submissions, and if you would like to see a copy of SPADA’s current draft please get in touch with firstname.lastname@example.org.