INDIA. Mumbai: The Maharashtra government recently issued Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for the entertainment industry, including the production of films and TV sops, under which no cine unions can stop the hiring of non-members and disturb the shootings.
There have been many incidents of union members boycotting the shooting and controlling the Film and Television Producers’ actions on hiring talent for almost 25 years. Now the SOP comes as a great relief to filmmakers.
As per the SOP circulated by the Indian Motion Pictures Producers Association (IMPPA), any person can work for any producer, and no union can stop him/her. No card of any union is required to enter the sets. However, the permission of the producer will be required; otherwise, an offence of trespass can be registered under sections 442 to 462 of the Indian Penal Code. The SOP makes it clear that any place hired by the producer has to be considered a private place.
The unions will have to file annual returns of their activities for January-December by April 30 of the subsequent year. Failing they can be denied recognition.
The producer will have to provide safe transport to women working night shifts. They will have to ensure that there is no sexual harassment of women. Besides, changing rooms, hygienic washing rooms will have to be made available during indoor and outdoor shooting.
Under the Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Amendment Rules, 2017, child artists below the age of 14 can be engaged, but no artist can be made to work for more than 5 hours a day. Also, no artist can be made to work for more than three hours without rest. Permission from the district collector will have to be obtained for engaging child artists. Such permission will be valid for six months.
No child artist can be engaged consecutively for 27 days to ensure that his/her education is not jeopardized. A consent letter from parents will have to be obtained before hiring the child artist. A responsible person per five children will have to be deputed to take care of the children. 20 per cent of the income earned will have to be deposited in the fixed deposit account of the artist at a nationalized bank. The accumulated amount will be given to the artist after he/she becomes an adult.
The producers will be required to maintain attendance and the wages register as per the Minimum Wages Act of 1948 and the Disbursement of Salary Rules 1936. The producers who engage up to 1000 workers will have to ensure that the wages are paid by the 7th of the month, and the amount will have to be deposited in employees’ bank accounts or the payment can be made by cheque. There should not be deductions for more than 50 per cent of the wages. No employee can be terminated without one month’s notice as per the Industrial Disputes Act 1947.
The producers engaging the skilled workers on a contract basis will have to pay wages within 30 days under the Payment of Wages Act 1936. No unauthorized deduction will be made from the workers’ dues. Also, the producers with 50 or more employees will have to pay House Rent Allowance @ 5 per cent of the wages.
As per the Payment of Bonus Act 1965, the producers employing 10 or more employees drawing salaries up to Rs 21000 per month, will have to pay an 8.33 per cent bonus if the employee works for 30 days and if the work gets over. The payment will have to be made at the time of the final settlement.
As per the Gratuity Rules 1972, the gratuity will be paid if the employee works for more than 5 years, even if the employee leaves or is removed from service. It will be 15 days per completed year. In case of the employee’s death, 15 days’ salary, will have to be given if he has completed one year of service. If the employee has worked for three months, seven days’ salary will have been given.
The producers employing up to 20 employees drawing a monthly salary of Rs 15,000 per month, will be required to deposit a 12 per cent amount deducted from the employee’s salary + one per cent administrative charges into the Provident Fund account so that employees can get the benefit of the Provident Scheme 1952, Pension scheme 1995 and the Deposit Linked Insurance Scheme 1976.
The producers employing more than 10 employees drawing salaries up to Rs 21,000 per month will have to deduct 0.75 per cent from the employees’ salaries and deposit 3.25 per cent as their own contribution under the Employees State Insurance Scheme (ESIS) Act 1948 to ensure benefits like Medicare and maternity benefits.
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