I am aware of reports of the protest to which the Deputy refers.
It is important to note that employees in every industry and sector are entitled to all existing legal protections of employment law and the film industry is not exempt. The Employment (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2018, which was signed into law by the President in December, should improve the situation of insecurity and unpredictability of working hours for employees on insecure contracts and those working variable hours.
It provides for a requirement that employers provide employees with certain terms of employment within a certain period after commencing employment; to impose sanctions for certain offences; to further provide for a minimum payment due to employees in certain circumstances; to prohibit contracts specifying zero as the contract hours in certain circumstances and to provide for the introduction of banded contract hours; to further provide for prohibition of penalisation and for those purposes to amend the Terms of Employment (Information) Act 1994 and the Organisation of Working Time Act 1997; to amend the Workplace Relations Act 2015; and to provide for related matters.
The Finance Act 2018 made changes to Section 481 the film tax relief and the Revenue Commissioners made the Film Regulations 2019 to give effect to these changes on 27 March 2019. The new Regulations include a signed undertaking in respect of quality employment which requires both the producer company and the qualifying company to comply with all obligations in the field of environmental, social and employment law. The producer company and the qualifying company must be responsible for compliance with all statutory requirements of an employer, have in place written policies and procedures in on Grievances, Discipline and Dignity at work (including harassment, bullying and equal opportunity). The companies are also required to provide details of any Work Place Relations Commission decisions aligned with confirmation that any findings against the companies have been followed or an explanation where the finding has not been followed.
My Department will continue to work through the Audiovisual High Level Steering Group to address issues raised in the audiovisual industry, and to support the industry and the people who work in it.