Will changes to Hobbit Law affect other contractors?

17 June 2019

What does the decision mean?

The decision means that film and video games workers can continue to be contractors.  However, the legislation will provide a structure for bargaining in good faith.  Strike action will not be available but instead there will be an arbitration system (similar to Police) to resolve disputes.  Collective agreements will apply to all covered contractors, either at an enterprise level or an occupational level.  Individual agreements will still be permissible but will need to meet the minimum terms of any applicable collective agreement.

The Government has decided not to extend the protections to all screen workers.  The law will be drafted later this year with implementation mid-2020. 

Are there implications for other contractors?

The Labour Party’s policy includes a “commitment to introducing statutory support and legal rights for dependent contractors who are effectively workers under the control of an employer but who do not receive the legal protections provided to employees”. So whilst, this decision is limited to film workers, it is easy to conceive this model having wider application to dependent contractors in the future.