News & InfoEP StoreAcademySupportCommunityProducts 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
contracting-in-a-covid-19-world-LC

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

terms-to-include-uk-contracts-LC

Terms to Include in UK Crew Contracts

5/3/2022
Common terms which studios and production companies include in their UK crew contracts.
Topic: UK
More
cell phone with sticky note stating sign here

Six e-Consent Myths (and Why They’re Not True)

5/2/2022
Sheridans Associate, Sarmad Saleh, debunks some common e-consent myths.
Topic: Legal
More
KJ Lamb and Simon Donovan

Empowering the Next Wave of Production Accountants

5/2/2022
The EP Production Portal team was delighted to participate in the biannual Netflix Assistant Production...
six-elements-for-uk-contracts-LC

Six Elements for Enforceable UK Crew Contracts

5/2/2022
Although parties to a crew contract can largely enter into whatever terms they choose, certain elements...
Topic: UK
More
recycling conversation

Sustainability in Production: Q&A with Nikki Saunders

4/22/2022
Nikki Saunders on sustainable filming practices, COVID-19, and why carbon offsetting isn’t a...
EP Blog_SQUARE_Fighting Hollywood Stereotypes-TTEI

Fighting Stereotypes and Rethinking Representation

5/10/2022
How TTIE is advancing authentic storytelling in Hollywood by empowering historically excluded writers and...
Oklahoma route 66 sign

A New Frontier in Filmmaking

5/5/2022
Oklahoma is becoming a production destination, thanks to new incentives and infrastructure programs.
uk-gdpr-and-how-productions-reduce-exposure-LC

The UK GDPR and how Productions can Reduce their Exposure - Q&A with Sheridans

5/3/2022
Sheridans’ Associate Krishan Neelendra answers key UK GDPR questions from production companies and...
Topic: UK
More
EP Blog_SQUARE_meet the cinematographer-dan-laustsen

Meet the Cinematographer

4/12/2022
A conversation with Dan Laustsen ('John Wick', 'Nightmare Alley').
Bradley Cooper-nightmare alley

Meet the Assistant Director

3/16/2022
A conversation with Myron Hoffert ('Nightmare Alley')
International Film Financing panel-featured

Film Financing Explained: International Financing

3/10/2022
International production experts discuss how producers can utilize financing systems outside of the US,...
EP Blog_SQUARE-Sound Mixer-Lora Hirschberg

Meet the Sound Mixer

3/1/2022
A conversation with Oscar-winning re-recording mixer, Lora Hirschberg ('Inception', Skywalker Sound)
Crew contracting in the UK-panel

Quick and Compliant Crew Contracting in the UK

2/9/2022
Neisha Glynternick and Sarmad Saleh from UK-based entertainment law firm Sheridans discuss crew...
Topic: Legal
Watch
EP-Blog-Meet-the-Set-Decorator-2

Meet the Set Decorator

1/19/2022
A Conversation with Claire Kaufman ('Little Women')
creating-a-winter-wonderland-elf

Creating a Winter Wonderland

12/21/2021
How ‘Elf’ Production Designer, Rusty Smith, Produces the Perfect Snowy Scenes for Film and Television
2022 Budgeting-sq

Budgeting for 2022: A Production Accountant's Guide

12/15/2021
EP's Payroll Tax, Production Incentives, and Business Development experts explain how inflation,...
Master Series: Budgeting for 2022-1

Budgeting for 2022: What Productions Need to Know

12/10/2021
From unemployment taxes and worker's compensation to the price of labor and materials, production costs...
Shiran-Amir-Randy-Bricker-Meet-the-Editors

Meet the Editor

12/7/2021
‘Chucky’ editors Randy Bricker and Shiran Amir on navigating the entertainment industry and how they...
Psychology-of-terror-steve-wang-todd-masters-feature

The Psychology of Terror

10/29/2021
How our deepest personal fears inspire cinematic monster makers Todd Masters and Steve Wang

How to solve a compounding problem?

9/8/2021
The perennial shortage of production accountants has been made worse by the competition for resources, but...

New Terms Under Return-To-Work Agreement

8/30/2021
RTW extension includes new two-part delineation, and the role of the vaccine
Topic: Legal
More
uk-gdpr-compliance-for-productions

UK GDPR Compliance for Productions: Q&A with Sheridans

5/4/2022
Special category data, liability, data transfers and reporting - Sheridans answer your questions on the UK...
Topic: UK
More

Producing with Purpose

4/27/2022
Creative Producer, Kimberly Goodman ('Selling Sunset', 'Project Runway'), shares insights on creating...
EP Blog_The Race to Net Zero is On for Big Studios

The Race to Net Zero is On for Big Studios

4/20/2022
Film and television studios are embracing the green movement in a big way. Here’s what you can expect to...
Master Series Panel-Solving the crew shortage

Solving the Crew Shortage

4/13/2022
Learn how EP Academy, the Georgia Film Academy, Reel Works, the New Mexico Film Office, and others, are...
EP Blog_SQUARE-Tips for tax day

Tips for Tax Day 2022

4/5/2022
Your ultimate tax filing checklist - the deadline this year is Monday, April 18th!

Georgia Proposes Capping and Prohibiting Sale of Film Tax Credits

3/30/2022
The changes, if signed into law, would cap the amount Georgia hands out in film and TV tax credits at $900...
EP Newsroom-Thumbnail-Portland Business Journal

How Oregon’s updated film incentive law could boost the local economy

3/29/2022
A new Oregon film and media incentive law could draw more movie productions to the state.
EP Blog_Marge Dean

Opening Career Doors

3/29/2022
How WIA President, Marge Dean, is shaping the future of animation and empowering underrepresented genders
Master Series Women in Animation-thumbnail

Women in Animation: A 3D View

3/24/2022
Marge Dean, Mandy Tankenson, and other women leaders from across animation come together to celebrate...
EP Blog-proud to support-square

Proud to Support: Celebrating Client Nominations at the 94th Academy Awards

3/22/2022
A look at the evolution of the Oscars and the notable films powered by Entertainment Partners technology.
Digging Out of a Deficit-featured

Digging Out of a Deficit: What to Expect in the Second Quarter of 2022

2/25/2022
Federal and State Unemployment Insurance rates are rising. Learn how these changes will affect 2022 and...
International Financing-John Hadity-ft

The Beginner’s Guide to International Film Financing

2/15/2022
What to know before you begin an international financing plan
meet-the-executive-producer-just-mercy-sq

Meet the Executive Producer

2/8/2022
A conversation with Mike Drake ('Just Mercy') on the path to becoming and EP, and the role of social...
Los Angeles Times logo-sq

Why the Cherokee Nation is Offering Rebates to Film in Oklahoma

2/5/2022
Joseph Chianese speaks to the LA Times on new incentive
New York City Requires Paid Time Off for Parents/Guardians to Vaccinate Kids Against COVID-19

New York City Requires Paid Time Off for Parents/Guardians to Vaccinate Kids Against COVID-19

2/4/2022
New York City enacted a new law that requires employers to provide four hours of paid leave to employees...
California Updates Requirements for COVID-19 Exposure Notification and Reporting Requirements at the Workplace

California Updates Requirements for COVID-19 Exposure Notification and Reporting Requirements at the Workplace

2/4/2022
On October 5, 2021, California enacted AB 654, which immediately updated the COVID-19 exposure...
Cal/OSHA Readopts Emergency Temporary Standards, Effective January 14, 2022

Cal/OSHA Readopts Emergency Temporary Standards, Effective January 14, 2022

2/4/2022
While the readopted ETS still incorporates a myriad of the same safety protocols that appeared in the...
New York City Vaccine Mandate on Private Employers

New York City Vaccine Mandate on Private Employers

2/3/2022
Effective December 27, 2021, New York City implemented a new mandate on private employers to require all...
EP Blog_SQUARE_Island Incentives

A Ticket to Paradise

1/26/2022
Island Incentives Bring Productions Ashore
35-production-accounting-terms-feature

35 Production Accounting Terms You Should Know

1/11/2022
Ready to test your production accounting vocabulary knowledge? See how many of these 35 common terms you...
Future-of-production-virtual stages

The Future of Film and Television Production

1/4/2022
Virtual stages, remote production offices, and other advances in technology drive the evolution of...
EP BLOG_Gucci

How Costumes, Hair, and Makeup Tell the 'House of Gucci' Story

12/28/2021
Talented production crew leaders Marco Alzari, Federica Castelli, Stefania Pellegrini, and Romina Ronzani...
New York City Imposes Mandatory Vaccination Requirement On Private Employers

New York City Imposes Mandatory Vaccination Requirement On Private Employers

12/22/2021
Starting December 27, 2021, workers in New York City must provide proof of vaccination against COVID-19 to...

Film Commission Report Highlights Covid Costs as Production Ramps Up

12/6/2021
Covid-compliance measures impact production budgets, estimating $90 million or more
EP BLOG_Payroll_Cleanup_Becky_Harshberger_sq

Everything You Need to Know About End-of-Year Production Payroll Cleanup

11/30/2021
Reconciling payroll errors and generating accurate W-2s can be a tedious process. These proactive steps...
Kickstart-with-ep-academy

Kickstart Your Production Career with the EP Academy

11/23/2021
From Production Accounting basics to technology certifications, EP’s online courses offer one-of-a-kind...
film-budget-meeting-sq

Why Accurate Payroll Tax Withholding Matters to Film Budgets

11/16/2021
Wendy Black, EP’s Vice President of Incentive Operations, shares tips for ensuring your production...
Los Angeles Times logo-sq

California productions to spend at least $90 million on COVID-19 safety measures

11/16/2021
A new report has put a price tag COVID-19-related costs, according to data released from the California...
Best Practices for Year-End Payroll Cleanup-Panelists-sq

Best Practices for Year-End Payroll Cleanup

11/15/2021
Payroll tax expert Becky Harshberger shares best practices to help production accounting teams prepare for...
film-festivals-online-or-in-person_sq

Film Festivals: Online or In-Person?

11/9/2021
Producers weigh in on the state of festival season post-pandemic, featuring Divi Crockett and Mike Drake
john hadity-beginners guide to hybrid film financing

The Beginner's Guide to Hybrid Film Financing

11/3/2021
How to successfully navigate working with foundations and investors to finance your next social-impact...
John Hadity-Sandra Schulberg-Hybrid Financing Master Series

Film Financing Explained: Hybrid Financing

10/27/2021
Sandra Schulberg joins John Hadity for a spirited discussion on Hybrid Financing and how filmmakers can...
Master Series Thumbnail-Best practices for accurate payroll tax withholding

Best Practices for Accurate Incentive Payroll Tax Withholding

10/22/2021
Learn how payroll tax withholding impacts a production incentive or film tax credit, and how productions...
woman-man-filming-production-sq

Mission: NOT Impossible

10/20/2021
Production incentives give producers options, increase infrastructure development and jobs promoting...
Identity Security Film Production-sq

Identity Security in Production

10/13/2021
5 Strategies to Manage Risk and Resist Cyberattacks in the Entertainment Industry
5 top payroll tax errors-Becky Harshberger

5 Top Payroll Tax Errors and How to Prevent Them

9/28/2021
Production payroll can be a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be! Payroll Tax expert Becky Harshberger...
Christine Davila, Jairo Alvarado, Sonia Gambaro

Authentic Latinx Storytelling Starts with Inclusion

9/22/2021
Christine Dávila, Jairo Alvarado, and Sonia Gambaro work to amplify the talents of underrepresented...

Streamers and the Changing Landscape of Film Distribution

9/14/2021
Director/Producer Daniel Farrands on strategies for success in the time of VOD

Meet the Paymasters

9/9/2021
The hard-working payroll professionals behind Hollywood's paychecks

Film Financing Explained: Soft Money Financing

9/2/2021
Vivian Hua joins our panel of financing and incentive experts to discuss funding film and television...
Canadian flag

5 Things to Know Before Working in Canada

8/31/2021
Prepare for your next job in Canada with this checklist of payroll considerations
Topic: Canada
More
 John Hadity-Guide to Soft Money Financing-sq

The Beginner’s Guide to Soft Money Financing

8/25/2021
How filmmakers can capitalize on incentives, film funds, and more to finance their next project
New Terms Reached Under Return-To-Work Agreement: Delineation into Two Parts, and the Role of the Vaccine

New Terms Reached Under Return-To-Work Agreement: Delineation into Two Parts, and the Role of the Vaccine

8/23/2021
In September 2020, the AMPTP and the industry’s Unions issued a Return-to-Work Agreement setting forth...

Designing for Horror

8/13/2021
Daniel Farrands and Andrew Murdock share insights on how filmmakers create fear through visual techniques
Los Angeles County Revised Health Order Eases Most COVID-19 Restrictions, Reinstates Masking Requirements

Los Angeles County Revised Health Order Eases Most COVID-19 Restrictions, Reinstates Masking Requirements

8/9/2021
Of note, the June 2021 Order (1) required unvaccinated or partially vaccinated individuals to wear a mask...

Digital Production Studio

Production Finance StudioProduction Management StudioEnterprise Management Hub

EP Sites

Central CastingEntertainment PartnersEP StoreSyncOnSetThe Production CommunityWe Got POP
Subscribe now

Be an industry insider with EP's
newsletters and alerts

LegalPrivacy NoticeSecurity
© 2022 Entertainment Partners. All rights reserved.