On 1 March 2014, the Entertainment Industry Act 2013 and associated Regulations came into force. New changes have now been enacted which will benefit all performers, agents and managers in NSW when entering into entrainment industry agreements.

These new laws are important as performers are often in weak bargaining positions and may often be disadvantaged in situations where their representatives or agents act for them as well as for the venues. A better understanding of the new laws will allow performers as well as their representatives to engage in fairer working arrangements as well as more functional relationships.

Under the new laws, the following documents need to be provided to performers, the parents of child performers and performer representatives:

  • An “Information for Performers” fact sheet must be provided to all performers by their agents before agreeing to perform under any entertainment contracts;
  • Another fact sheet must also be provided to the parents of child performers in order to inform them of the rights and responsibilities that relate to any entertainment contracts that they may enter into;
  • A “Code of Conduct” document must be given to performer representatives to ensure that such representatives are made aware of the their ethical responsibilities when dealing with performers.

In order to help performers and their representatives understand the implications of the new laws, webinars have been set up by the NSW Industrial Relations body. These webinars cover a range of topics including:

  • The “Code of Conduct” and how to comply with it;
  • Information that needs to be given to employers;
  • Managerial agreements and any relevant cooling off periods;
  • General entertainment industry agreements and how fee caps apply;
  • Information about licensing and bonds including how to remove them.

“Information for Performers” fact sheet

This fact sheet is very useful in outlining all the rights and responsibilities of performers under the new laws. A better under understanding of your rights may prevent you from being exploited in your role as a performer and may also reduce potential disputes with your representative over a misunderstanding of the law.

This fact sheet provides information of the following areas:

  • The role of a performer representative;
  • The fees that a performer representative may charge you;
  • An explanation of an entertainment industry managerial agreement;
  • What a cooling off period is;
  • When you can expect to be paid;
  • Information for child performers and parents of child performers;
  • The Code of Conduct;
  • The status of existing contracts entered into before the new laws were enacted.

This fact sheet may be accessed at:

http://www.industrialrelations.nsw.gov.au/biz_res/oirwww/pdfs/Fact_sheet_for_performers.pdf

Conclusion

With these new laws being enacted, it may be in your best interests as a performer to understand the changes in your rights and obligations in relation to your representative(s) and under the law generally.

Lachlan McKnight

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