Contractual issues

Contracts are at the very heart of the relationship between a performer and her/his employer/engager. They define the specific terms and condition of employment as well as the benefits that may (or may not) be expected from the exploitation of the performance. With the exception of high profile performers, most others have very limited bargaining power and regularly have no alternative but to sign up to very unfair contractual clauses – that is to say, unless they are represented by a strong trade union. Such clauses regularly entail a permanent buy-out of intellectual property rights against an upfront, symbolic payment. It is not unusual for performers to sign contracts for services, saving employers costs whilst at the same time redefining their professional status to one of self-employment. A overzealous application of competition law policies may remove from these artists the benefit of core trade union rights, including the right to organise and bargain collectively – on grounds that they would otherwise form a cartel and be fixing market prices artificially.

FIA strongly campaigns for all performers, regardless of the nature of their work relationship, to benefit from core labour rights and trade union representation. The Federation is committed to fighting bogus self-employment, seeking regulatory solutions against abusive and unfair contractual provisions and providing technical support to its members in their struggle to collectively uphold the legitimate interests of professional performers.