Wednesday, 10 April 2019

Ceisteanna (18)

Richard Boyd Barrett

Ceist:

18. Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht further to Parliamentary Question No. 19 of 21 February 2019, if she will report on the membership and work programme of the Audiovisual High Level Steering Group; her views on the way in which the group will help to resolve the ongoing disputes and issues across the film industry; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [16761/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Culture)

The Government established an Audiovisual High Level Steering Group to implement the Audiovisual Action Plan which was published in June 2018. The Group has met five times to date and provides for a whole-of-Government approach to the audiovisual industry with representatives from all Government Departments and State Agencies that have an involvement with the audiovisual industry as follows:

- Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht;

- Department of Finance;

- Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment;

- Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation;

- Department of Education and Skills;

- Revenue Commissioners;

- Screen Ireland;

- Broadcasting Authority of Ireland;

- IDA; and

- Enterprise Ireland.

The Steering Group is working to implement the actions which are detailed in the Audiovisual Action Plan. An annual progress report will be prepared over the coming months. 

The Audiovisual Group does not have a role in the resolution of disputes. The State has formal institutional arrangements for the resolution of disputes in all industries and the audiovisual industry is also subject to these arrangements which consist of the Workplace Relations Commission and the Labour Court.

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.