You are currently using an unsupported web browser. For the best experience using the Talent Manager website please consider upgrading your browser.

Standard working days in drama have been cut by one hour to 10 hours after Bectu and Pact finally agreed terms after months of negotiations.

From 1 January 2023, a raft of changes will be introduced for all crew on scripted programmes priced at under £7m per hour, with streaming shows and TV features coming under the TV Drama Agreement for the first time.

The overtime cap has been raised from £45 to £70 and ‘nightwork’ rates will now kick in at 11pm, rather than midnight, and workers will be given two weeks’ notice if any requirement to work at weekends.

The bodies have been back and forth on updating working conditions for the past 18 months, with Bectu ultimately rejecting Pact’s proposals in August. After protracted talks throughout the autumn, Bectu members this week voted 60/40 in favour after a month-long ballot - five years since the previous version of the agreement was signed.

Bectu plans to monitor closely the implementation of the new terms. Acknowledging that it had been a “complex, protracted and at times difficult process”, the union’s head Philippa Childs said “there is still further progress to be made in addressing key issues that impact our members’ lives”.

Nevertheless, she said the agreement will provide “a firm basis from which to move forward”, adding: “We will maintain our commitment to improving work/life balance and changing the damaging long hours culture.”

Pact highlighted the potential transformative impact on non-commercial regional and national drama, kids and comedy that traditionally offers training opportunities for new and diverse talent and crew.

Pact/Bectu’s Revised TV Drama Agreement

Shooting hours 

  • Scheduled days can only be 10+1 – 10 hours worked plus 1 unpaid hour for lunch
  • Sixth shooting days paid at 1.5 x rate and non-shooting sixth days paid at a minimum of 10 hours for 6 hours worked, or 1.5 x rate if over 6 hours
  • A cap on split days for schedules over seven weeks
Weekends, early calls and nightwork  
  • Two weeks’ notice of weekend working
  • ‘Nightwork’ kicks in for any shooting after 11pm and is now paid weekly instead of after the run of nights
  • Dailies receive a rest day after night work
  • Cancellation of dailies now permitted from 1pm
Overtime, mileage and other allowances 
  • Overtime cap has been increased to £70 per hour from £45
  • Mileage is paid after 25 miles (30 miles in 2017 agreement)
  • Bank holidays are to be paid at 2T if worked and workers on band 4 will be paid at 1T if not worked (the 2017 agreement had no increased payment for bank holidays)
  • Two previous ‘grace periods’ have been abolished
Overtime, mileage and other allowances
  • ‘Prep and wrap’ time, previously undefined, is now limited to one paid hour a day
  • Made-for-TV features and streamers are now included in the agreement
Need Help?