Screen industry workers

The Screen Industry Workers Act 2022 applies to contractors who do certain types of work for engagers that primarily operate in the screen industry.

The Screen Industry Workers Act (the Act) applies to contractors (referred to as screen production workers or workers), and the engagers (producers and production companies) that hire them.

Under the Act, whether someone is a 'screen production worker' depends on the type of screen production they work on, and the type of work they do. 

Types of screen productions covered

The Screen Industry Workers Act covers the following types of screen productions:

  • computer-generated games
  • films
  • programmes.

The following types of screen productions are not covered by the Act:

  • advertising programmes longer than 5 minutes
  • amateur productions
  • game shows
  • live event programmes
  • music and dance programmes
  • news and current affairs programmes
  • recreation and leisure programmes
  • religious programmes
  • sports programmes
  • talk shows
  • training and instructional programmes
  • variety shows.

For definitions of the above terms, refer to Schedule 3 of the Act: 

Schedule 3 of the Screen Industry Workers Act 2022 – New Zealand Legislation (external link)

Types of work covered

The Screen Industry Workers Act covers work that contributes to the creation of screen productions covered by the Act.

The following types of work are not covered:

  • support services
  • volunteer work
  • work done for an engager who does not primarily do work in the screen industry.

'Support services' make only a peripheral contribution to a screen production – meaning the work does not contribute to the core creation of the production. Support services can include accounting, administration, advertising, auditing, legal, management or representation services.

Engagers can be production companies, partnerships, individuals, or other types of entities. Engagers are considered to primarily do work in the screen industry if:

  • at least half of their average annual gross income from the past 3 years is from screen production work, or
  • they were set up in the last 3 years primarily for the purpose of creating/contributing to screen productions.

Employees vs contractors

The Screen Industry Workers Act applies only to screen production workers who are contractors.

A screen production worker is a contractor unless their written agreement or contract states they are an employee.

The Act does not apply to screen production workers who have a written agreement that says they are an employee. In this case, the worker is an employee and is covered by relevant employment law instead. 

Summary flowchart

If you work in the screen industry, use the flowchart below to see if the Screen Industry Workers Act applies to your work.

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