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Entertainment Industry Act 2013: Guide to current provisions 

The Entertainment Industry Act commenced on 1 March 2014. The new Act streamlines and improves the way in which the industry is regulated. Some of the significant changes include:

  • the removal of licensing and bond requirements that existed under the old Entertainment Industry Act 1989
  • a new category of performer representative that replaces the separate categories of manager and agent; and
  • the introduction of a code of conduct that provides performer representatives with clear guidance on the standards of service required to ensure professional and ethical conduct when providing services to performers.

 

Information to be provided to performers 

Performer representatives are obliged to provide performers (or in the case of child performers, the parents of the child) with the ‘Information for Performers’ fact sheet before entering into an entertainment industry agreement. If you entered into an entertainment industry contract prior to 1 March 2014, you should have received this information sheet within 30 days of the commencement of the new Act.

Parents of child performers must also be given the Office of the Children’s Guardian ‘Parents Fact Sheet explaining the Code of Practice’. The fact sheet is available from www.kidsguardian.nsw.gov.au

 

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Entertainment industry representatives 

An entertainment industry representative means either a performer representative or a venue representative: 

Performer representative
The role of a ‘performer representative’ includes providing one or more of the following services:

  • Seeking or finding work opportunities for the performer
  • Negotiating terms of an agreement for, and the conditions of, a performance
  • Finalising arrangements relating to the payment of the performer
  • Negotiating arrangements relating to the attendance of a performer at a performance
  • Administering the agreement between a performer and an entertainment industry hirer, and
  • making arrangements for publicity attendances and related publicity responsibilities of a performer.

Venue representative (formerly a venue consultant)
A venue representative is a person who, for financial benefit, acts on behalf of an entertainment industry hirer to arrange a performance by a performer at a particular venue.

Entertainment Industry Hirer
Entertainment industry hirer is a person who engages or contracts any performer for the purpose of a performance.

 

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Entertainment industry performer representative fees 

Performer representatives may charge fees for services provided under the entertainment industry agreement.
In the case of a performance involving live theatre or a live musical or variety performance—10 per cent for any period up to 5 weeks and then 5 per cent for any period after 5 weeks,

In all other cases (including an engagement involving film, television or electronic media)—10 per cent.

A performer representative must not charge fees above these amounts unless they are also providing career management services and this has been agreed in writing under an entertainment industry managerial agreement.

A performer representative cannot demand or receive fees relating to joining, auditioning or for entering into a contract with the performer.

 

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Entertainment industry managerial agreement 

An entertainment industry managerial agreement is an agreement in writing that recognises the additional services provided by a performer representative regarding the management of the performer’s reputation, career or career development.

The agreement must contain an ‘additional fee acknowledgement’ that makes it clear the performer acknowledges:

  • the agreement allows fees to be charged in excess of the fee caps in return for the performer representative providing managerial services
  • a cooling-off period applies, and
  • the performer representative has provided the performer with the required information statement.

 

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Trust accounts to be established 

Money received on behalf of a performer by a performer representative that is not paid to the performer immediately must be:

  • paid to the credit of a general trust account at a bank/credit union in NSW and be held in accordance with the regulations
  • disbursed as directed by the performer within 14 days after the performer representative receives the money

A trust account must be kept exclusively for the purpose of money received on behalf of a performer.

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Records 

Performer representatives, entertainment industry hirers and venue representatives must keep certain records at their principal place of business for at least 5 years after the relevant records are made.

 

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Compliance 

The comprehensive compliance framework under the Entertainment Industry Act 2013 ensures that NSW Industrial Relations can properly regulate the industry and enforce key performer protections such as fees, money handling and information disclosure requirements. Compliance measures available include:

  • Penalty notices – may be used by inspectors for specified criminal matters as an alternative to taking prosecution action, such as record keeping and obstruction offences.
  • Enforceable Undertakings – is a compliance tool which may be used as an alternative to court action. Enforceable undertakings can be accepted where breaches of certain civil penalty offences are involved.
  • Register of Information – NSW Industrial Relations may keep a Register of Information about offences committed under the Act or Regulations which will be made available for public inspection.
  • Prohibition Orders – these orders could lead to temporary or permanent exclusion from the industry for those representatives who engage in unlawful conduct through repeated breaches of entertainment industry laws. It is expected these orders will be only be used in exceptional circumstances.

 

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Further information 

This guide to the Act has been prepared for your assistance and is not meant to be a detailed statement of the full provisions.

It is recommended that you obtain a copy of the Entertainment Industry Act 2013 and the Entertainment Industry Regulation 2014.

NSW Industrial Relations can help
Should you have any questions about the new entertainment industry laws please contact NSW Industrial Relations on 131 628.