Technical support staff in the film, television and video industry
This page explains the work permit criteria for technical support staff in the film, television and video industry. These criteria were agreed following consultation with the Broadcasting, Entertainment, Cinematograph and Theatre Union (BECTU) in August 2007 and will be reviewed in August 2008. This criteria is supplementary guidance to the published employer guidance notes and both sets of guidance should be referred to when making an application.
- Work permits will only be issued to technicians of the highest calibre.
- The UK Border Agency may consult with BECTU regarding technical roles other than the following senior key creative grades:
- Director of Photography (Cinematographer)
- Production Designer
- Costume Designer
- Hair/Make-up Designer
- 1st Assistant Editor - applications for this post may only request the advertising to be waived on the grounds of continuity - and the need for consultation with BECTU will be decided on a case by case basis (see below for further details)
Advertising is not appropriate for the above senior key creative grades or for posts where continuity is required.
There are numerous publications and databases that employers can use to undertake recruitment from the resident labour force. Some examples are below, but there will be occasions when some are not always the most appropriate for the job in question. It is the responsibility of the employer to give sufficient reasons to satisfy the caseworker as to why a particular method used was the most appropriate.
Examples of where it may be appropriate to advertise long term contracts are:
- Guardian Media - for feature films and television work
- Screen International
- Marketing Week - for advertising work
Short term contracts are usually filled by agents using diary services and networks. Where this is the most appropriate method of advertising the employer will need to show evidence of how they have used this method as a genuine attempt to recruit suitably qualified resident workers. The UK Border Agency may check on the relevant industry databases to check that there are no suitably qualified resident workers. The industry databases are:
- The Knowledge Online
- Production Base
The UK Border Agency may consult with BECTU where they feel there may have been suitably qualified resident workers available on the databases.
Continuity may only be accepted as a reason to waive advertising where the post involves a creative input to the project, and is within the same piece of work and not across separate projects. For such cases where the employer has provided a compelling argument the UK Border Agency will consult with BECTU.
Applications submitted under the criteria for continuity must supply proof that the overseas national is currently, or has recently been working on the same piece of work overseas.
Applications for 1st Assistant Editor: Applications for this post would only be able to request for the advertising to be waived when the employer applies on the grounds of continuity. Evidence must be submitted to show that the 1st Assistant Editor and Editor were working together on the same project overseas - e.g. the film may be split over two locations. Applications may not be granted on the basis of continuity when the 1st Assistant Editor and Editor have worked together on past productions.
Length of Issue
The UK Border Agency will normally approve work permits to cover the last day of filming plus five days.
Payment should be commensurate with BECTU's guidance on salary levels. The current minimum rates can be found on the BECTU website. The going rates will be significantly higher than those published on the website. The UK Border Agency may consult with BECTU over salaries.