Union sets out recommended baseline weekly rates to create ‘fair and equal system’

Bectu has published guidance for unscripted pay rates in a bid to reduce the potential for exploitation of freelancers.

Bectu logo

The union has set out baseline weekly pay rates for 40 roles as part of a “major step” towards improving pay equality.

Calculated via a survey of over 3,000 freelancers via The Freelance Taskforce and The Time Project, Bectu’s proposed weekly rates include paying a researcher £605-£930, an assistant producer £800-£1125, a producer / director £1380-£1705 and an exec producer £2140-£2465. Production managers should receive £1100-£1425.

The figures are based on a 37.5 hour working week and weighted to account for the length of an individuals’ experience from zero to five years.

Unscripted TV Union chair James Taylor said that previously assessing unscripted pay rates in a comprehensive way had been like peeling an onion: “The further you get, the more layers of complication are uncovered, and ultimately it makes you want to cry,” he said.

Taylor said the guide would prove invaluable to people working in many different roles at every stage of their career.

“It will give thousands of freelancers confidence when negotiating their rates that they are being compensated fairly, which is ultimately all everyone wants,” he added.

Louise Patel, founder and co-director of job share group Share My Telly Job said Bectu’s rate card is a “major step” towards equality in the industry.

“In an industry that is bound by budget restraints, there will always be a push to negotiate rates down, which devalues the skills and experience of its workforce. To create a fair and equal system, rates must be standardised. It demystifies the subject, it removes potential for exploitation and it creates a fair and level base for us all to work from.

“We hope and trust that employers will embrace and respect the new rates guidance. Paying people fairly and without argument for the talent they bring to productions creates a sense of value and commitment, it removes bias and is directly linked to a company’s success,” she added.

The Time Project recently revealed a “broken system” in which freelancers in the TV industry work 14 hours per week more than the national average.

2021 Baseline rate for editorial stream
RoleWeekly Rate , £
(0-5 years experience)
Runner £11.40 p/h
Logger 450
Junior Researcher 500-825
Shooting Researcher 550-875
Researcher 605-930
Development Researcher 600-925
Casting Researcher 620-945
Senior Researcher 720-1,045
Assistant Producer 800-1,125
Archive Researcher 720-1,045
Data Wrangler 720-1,045
Development Assistant Producer 720-1,045
Casting Assistant Producer 730-1,055
Self-Shooting AP 900-1,225
Location Assistant 930-1,255
DV Director 1,000-1,325
Gallery Producer 1,130-1,455
Archive Producer 1,130-1,455
Producer  1,140-1,465
Casting Producer  1,160-1,485
Casting and Talent Executive  1,170-1,495
Games/Task Producer  1,200-1,525
Senior Producer  1,330-1,655
Producer Director  1,380-1,705
Edit Producer  1,390-1,715
Casting Executive  1,430-1,755
Series Editor  1,630-1,955
Series Producer  1,760-2,085
Series Director  1,840-2,165
Editor - Offline  1,850-2,175
Executive Producer  2,140-2,465
Development Executive NEGOTIABLE
Head of Development  NEGOTIABLE
2021 Baseline rates for production stream
RoleBaseline Weekly Rate, £
Production Secretary 520-845
Production Coordinator 670-995
Junior Production Manager 860-1,185
Production Manager 1,100-1,425
Line Producer 1,250-1,575
Production Executive 1,700-2,025
Head of Production NEGOTIABLE