EP NowStoreAcademySupportProduction LotProducts by Country
Legal & Compliance Home

Contracting in a COVID-19 World  

The pandemic has affected how UK production companies contract crew. Here’s how to reduce the impact of any future restrictions or a COVID-19 case on set.
May 3, 2022

With COVID-19 restrictions easing across the UK, there is cause to feel optimistic. But if the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that nothing is certain and it’s essential to be prepared for the unexpected.

All of this uncertainty has given production companies even more to think about when it comes to contracting crew. Fortunately, there are a number of ways to minimize the impact of any future restrictions or a COVID-19 case on set.

Terms to include in your contracts

Force majeure

It’s important that crew contracts include a comprehensive force majeure clause which states that in certain events beyond the parties’ control (e.g., pandemics, natural disasters or strikes), both parties will be relieved from having to perform the contract for as long as the interference continues.

Without these clauses, a producer could be liable to pay or engage crew members despite the fact that production has stopped due to circumstances outside their control.

Suspension and termination

Despite everyone’s best intentions, producers must have the option to suspend or terminate a crew member’s contract in certain circumstances, including in the event of a breach, incapacity, or force majeure, or without cause on notice.

A robust suspension and termination clause is now even more important in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Crew contracts should include a suspension and termination clause which enables production to be suspended due to COVID-19 restrictions or a positive case on set.

Suspension and termination provisions should set out:

  • How they will work (e.g., whether notice will be given).
  • The effect of the suspension (e.g., the crew member must still comply with the terms, the maximum length of suspension, and the circumstances in which the crew member will be entitled to payment, if at all) or termination (e.g., rights are retained by the production company and payments are due only up to the point of termination or suspension).

Other COVID-19 requirements

To help keep your crew safe, you may wish to impose additional COVID-19-specific requirements, such as:

  • An acknowledgment that your crew have read and will comply with your COVID-19 safety policies
  • A requirement that all crew wear a mask on set and provide a negative COVID-19 test at the beginning of each working day

COVID-19 addendum and protocols

It may also be appropriate to attach a COVID-19 rider or addendum to your contracts which expands on the above points. This is because the additional requirements for crew to comply with COVID-19 measures are not enshrined in law, so they must be established on a production-by-production basis.

Productions should consider having the following in place:

  • COVID-19 protocols relating to behavior, which aim to reduce or limit the level of infection. Industry bodies - such as ScreenSkills - also release various guidance which you can adopt.
  • COVID-19 riders or addendums which address the risks associated with working during the COVID-19 pandemic, potentially set out testing requirements and require crew members to promptly notify the production if they test positive for COVID-19. These may also contain requirements that crew members provide a health declaration or state whether they have recently been outside the UK (and, if so, when and where).
  • A requirement for crew members to complete daily health declarations to ensure the daily monitoring of COVID-19 risks on set. (Remember that special rules apply to the collection of health data. See our guide to information security for more details on how to secure your production data).

For more information on contracting crew, see Getting your crew contracts in place: A guide for UK productions.

Topic: COVID-19

Related Content

Cameraman filming outside in a field

HMRC Announces Changes to Claiming UK Creative Sector Tax Incentives

What productions should know about the increased disclosure requirements under the UK's Audio-Visual...
Four Panelists from Indie Producer's Playbook

Indie Producer’s Playbook: Setting Up a Successful Production

Learn best practices for how to set up and run a successful production, from choosing the right corporate...
MAMA Youth Project Team Photo

Celebrating (Almost) 20 Years of MAMA Youth Project

UK charity’s founder, Bob Clarke, shares how this unique initiative is breaking down barriers to...
Producer and actor standing on a film set

How to Prepare for an Audit: Tips for UK Productions

Discover key strategies UK film and TV production companies can use to effectively prepare for an audit.
Topic: UK
Camera man and production crew on a film set

Curious About Co-productions? What Producers Need to Know.

Learn how international collaborators and countries come together to create captivating content for global...

BSO, CMPA Launch Accelerator for Black Producers

The 20-week program will see emerging Black producers receive paid training at a CMPA member company.
National Film and Television School

Entertainment Partners To Provide Funding For Future Assistant Directors And Floor Managers

Two new scholarship opportunities are now available for those looking to train in the field of assistant...

What Does the UK’s New Independent Film Tax Credit (IFTC) Mean for Productions?

As the UK government strengthens its support for productions, find out what the latest changes to the...
A group of people talking to a Wellbeing Facilitator on set

Meet the Wellbeing Facilitator

A conversation with Matt Longley, Co-Founder of 6Ft From the Spotlight and Wellbeing Facilitator
Four panelists discuss co-production-square

Unlocking the Myths and Benefits of Co-Production

Learn the difference between an official co-production and PSA, and how to leverage these opportunities to...
EP Newsroom-Thumbnail-PGGB

Million Youth Media Wins The Duke of Edinburgh Film & TV Inclusion Award 2024 at PGGB Talent Showcase

The Duke of Edinburgh Film & TV Inclusion Award presented to Million Youth Media, an organisation offering...
Blue square with white letters and UK flag: Changes to UK Paternity Leave Regulations

Changes to UK Paternity Leave Regulations

Effective March 8th, modified paternity leave to provide more flexibility for UK fathers.
Topic: Alerts
Big Ben, London

5 Things to Consider Before Transitioning to the UK’s New AVEC Regime

A comprehensive overview to help determine if you should use the UK’s new incentive regime to fund your...
Blue tile stating UK announces minimum wage updates

UK Government Announces Minimum Wage Updates

National Living Wage and National Minimum Wage rates increase for 2024.

Minnesota: Land of 10,000 Opportunities

Learn about Minnesota's new incentive program, dynamic locations, strategies for boosting crew training...

Operating a Loan-Out in Canada: A How-to Guide

What production workers need to know about setting up and operating a loan-out corporation in Canada.
Topic: Canada
Master Series Thumbnail Square UK Productions

UK Production: Sites, Services and Studios

Learn about UK incentives, infrastructure and production innovation spanning from London to Wales,...

Entertainment Partners Makes Commitment to UK Production with Film & TV Partnership Programme

Find out how EP is partnering with the leading UK training organisations to close the skills gap, increase...
Entertainment Partners Logo Thumbnail-square

NFTS and Entertainment Partners (EP) Establish Partnership to Support the Future of Film and Television Production

By supporting the National Film and Television School through this new partnership, Entertainment Partners...

NFTS, Entertainment Partners establish partnership

EP the entertainment payroll and production technology company joins as a prominent new Patron of the...

NFTS and Entertainment Partners (EP) establish partnership

The National Film and Television School (NFTS) announces a new partnership with Entertainment Partners...
UK Right to Work Penalties to Triple in 2024

UK Right to Work Penalties to Triple in 2024

Find out how your production can prepare for the increased penalties for employing a worker who doesn't...
Topic: Legal
EP Blog_SQUARE_Spread of UK Production

Outside of London: How the UK Production Industry Spread Beyond the Capital

Film and TV production outside of London (OOL) is now an integral part of the UK, with world-class media...
Topic: UK
Expert Advice_Sam Collett

Spotlight: Sam Collett, UK Production Accounting and Incentives Expert

Meet the Senior Partner at FLB Accountants, an Entertainment Partners company specializing in UK media and...
Master Series_UK Incentives Panel_Square

What's Changing in UK Production Incentives

Learn about the recent changes to the UK Creative Sector Tax Credits and how they might impact your next...
EP Blog_SQUARE_UK cultural test

Understanding the UK Cultural Test

Find out whether your film or TV show will pass the UK’s Cultural Test, a key step in qualifying for the...
EP Blog_SQUARE_EP Paymasters

Meet the Paymasters

This National Payroll Week we celebrate the hard-working payroll professionals behind Hollywood's...

Payroll & Finances

PayrollResidualsSmartStartSmartTimeProduction PortalEP On LocationSmartAccountingEP LiveSmartPOCASHétPayPaymaster Rate GuideEP Residency

Manage Multiple Productions


Additional Services

Subscribe now

Be an industry insider with EP's
newsletters and alerts

LegalPrivacy NoticeSecurity
© 2024 Entertainment Partners. All rights reserved.