A couple of troubling questions on the Hobbit Bill

by frog

1.   Who was telling the truth, John Key or Gerry Brownlee?

Here’s John Key:

“On the labour law side it’s looking more optimistic”.

He said some of the advice was that it would require a law change to give Warner Brothers the clarity they wanted around labour laws.

 And here’s Gerry Brownlee

“Warner Bros did not put any requirements on us to do anything. The New Zealand Government has recognised that there were employment issues that needed to be sorted out, and we are going to move to clarify those.”

 They can’t both be right!  So who is?

 2.   How does this legislation clarify the law as to who are contractors and who are employees in the film industry? 

The provision of the law passed states [the definition of employee]: 

 “(d) excludes, in relation to a film production, any of the following persons:

“(i) a person engaged in film production work as an actor, voice-over  actor, stand-in, body double, stunt performer, extra, singer, musician, dancer, or entertainer:

“(ii) a person engaged in film production work in any other capacity.”

(2) Section 6 is amended by inserting the following subsection after subsection (1):

“(1A) However, subsection (1)(d) does not apply if the person is a party to, or covered by, a written employment agreement that provides that the person is an employee.”

Now what happens when the “contract” has a clause that says the worker is an independent contractor, but the other clauses in it provide  for conditions of work that that define the working conditions of the “contractor” to actually be those of an “employee”, and the purpoted contract actually an employment agreement?

How I see it, is that this creates a legal cause to go to the Employment Court to resolve the issue over whether a person engaged to work on a film production is, in law, a “contractor” or an “employee”. 

So much for this Bill “clarifying” the law – it seems to me to make the law  more confusing and more subject to litigation. 

frog says

Published in Economy, Work, & Welfare | Justice & Democracy by frog on Sat, October 30th, 2010   

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