Government Takes Further Steps To Reduce Scope of Hobbit Law

24 February 2020

The Bill:

  • Requires companies to have written contracts for all workers.
  • Requires minimum conditions to be included in these contracts such as in relation to prevention of bullying.
  • Enables collective bargaining, and a dispute mechanism if bargaining breaks down.  The Bill still prevents industrial action being taken, i.e. strike action cannot be taken but there will be an arbitration system for disputes. 

What about other contractors?

Looking at the messaging around this Bill, it seems that whilst this decision is limited to film workers at this time, if legislated, it is easy to see it forming the basis of a wider application to dependent contractors in the future.

The Labour Party’s 2017 manifesto included 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” and in November 2019, the Government published a consultation document titled “Better Protections for Contractors".

A copy of the bill can be found here