All employees and industry practitioners have the legal right not to be overworked, discriminated against, harassed, sexually harassed or bullied in the workplace. Workplaces should be non-threatening, respectful, safe and free from all forms of harassment. Each state and territory has its own laws requiring safe workplaces and prohibiting discrimination, harassment, sexual harassment and bullying in the workplace.
Standards for safe workplaces across the Australian screen industry are detailed in: the Australian Screen Industry Code of Practice, and the National Guidelines for Screen Safety, as summarised below.
Screen Queensland’s Role
What we do? In encouraging the Queensland screen industry to create best-practice safe workplaces, Screen Queensland assumes the role of concerned stakeholder. We advocate for crew welfare and production safety, and provide information and referrals to appropriate resources.
What we don’t do? Screen Queensland cannot investigate or assist with complaints, but there are other organisations that may be able to help (see below). If you want assistance in relation to a specific incident/s, you should consider obtaining independent legal advice.
Australian Screen Industry Code of Practice
The Australian Screen Industry Code of Practice: Discrimination, Harassment, Sexual Harassment and Bullying (Code of Practice) is a best-practice guide for employers in the Australian screen industry. It supports the prevention of workplace discrimination, harassment, sexual harassment and bullying in the screen industry. It affirms the national industry’s commitment to providing safe, respectful, inclusive and flexible workplaces. The Code of Practice contains a set of best-practice templates and resources to assist employers in producing the following for their workplace:
- a workplace discrimination, harassment, sexual harassment and bullying policy
- a complaint handling and investigation procedure
- a complaint form
- a Code of Conduct for workplace discrimination, harassment, sexual harassment and bullying.
Template documents are available at Screen Industry Code of Conduct (screenproducers.org.au).
National Guidelines for Screen Safety
The National Guidelines for Screen Safety (National Guidelines) have been drafted to provide advice on how to manage safety in screen industry workplaces and comply with state and federal workplace health and safety legislation as at 1 March 2021. It includes guidance on crew welfare issues such as overworking and fatigue, which are covered under Section D. Employment Agreements (Hours of Work) and Section F. Production Departments and Work Practices (Fatigue).
The Code of Practice and National Guidelines have each been developed as a joint initiative between Screen Producers Australia (SPA), the body representing employers in the screen industry, and Media Entertainment & Arts Alliance (MEAA), as the body representing employees. These are publicly available at Screen Industry Code of Conduct (screenproducers.org.au) and MEAA Australian Screen Industry Code of Practice for Discrimination, Harassment, Sexual Harassment and Bullying – MEAA and the National Guidelines.
Terms of Trade
Although the Code of Practice and National Guidelines are drafted as voluntary guidelines, Screen Queensland strongly encourages all screen industry practitioners to adopt and follow them. They are each referenced in Screen Queensland’s Terms of Trade.
Screen Queensland expects all applicants (including the applicant’s and their Related Entities’ employees, contractors and agents) to comply with:
(a) all legislation related to providing a safe workplace, including state and federal work health and safety, harassment and discrimination legislation; and
(b) the Australian Screen Industry Code of Practice: Discrimination, Harassment, Sexual Harassment and Bullying and the National Safety Guidelines for Screen Safety.
Screen Queensland may require applicants to demonstrate evidence of their safe workplace practices and this may be taken into consideration in assessment of applications.
SPA & MEAA
Queries in relation to the Code of Practice or the National Guidelines from employers should be directed to SPA and queries from employees to the MEAA.
Media, Entertainment & Arts Alliance (MEAA)
T: 1300 656 513
If you have a complaint, please consider contacting SPA or MEAA or your relevant guild such as:
- Australian Production Design Guild
- ADG – Australian Directors’ Guild
- Australian Guild of Screen Composers
- Australian Screen Editors
- Australian Writers’ Guild
In Queensland, if you have a complaint in relation to the following issues, please consider contacting the following organisations:
- Workplace Health and Safety Queensland – worksafe.qld.gov.au
- Payment of Wages, Awards, Dismissal and Workplace Disputes – Fair Work Ombudsman
- Discrimination, Sexual Harassment, Victimisation & Vilification – Queensland Human Rights Commission
If you are experiencing distress as a result of an incident in your workplace, please consider the following services:
Counselling – Lifeline (13 11 14) or Beyond Blue (1300 22 4636)
Sexual Assault – 1800Respect (1800 737 732).