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CONTRACTS: WHAT IS A CONTRACT? Every person who has accepted a position of employment has entered into a contract of some kind, specifically an Employment Contract. This contract may not always be in writing however and if you do not have a written contract, the likelihood is that one was automatically made when you began working for your employer. Employment Contract: An employment contract is an agreement that is signed by the employee and employer that states the responsibilities, duties and rights concerning the job in question. This contract does not have to be in writing, however, the employee is entitled to a written copy of the employment terms within two months of work. You and your employer are bound in this contract until it ends or until a change in the terms occurs, which would be, again, an agreement between employee and employer.


CONTRACTS: TYPES OF CONTRACT The two main types of Employment Contract are Confidentiality contracts and Exclusivity contract. A Confidentiality Contract is an agreement signed by two parties concerning the disclosure of information that is considered ‘Confidential’. If two parties agree to provide each other with confidential information, they must sign a contract to insure that this information is not leaked to any third parties. The parties must agree not to communicate any part of the information to any third party, and to keep the information on a strict need to know basis. An Exclusivity Contract is an agreement with a provider and a facility designating that the provider is the only provider of a certain service or product of the facility. This contract is used, for example, when filmmakers want to make a film of a book, the contract makes sure that the author of the book holds the exclusive rights to the original book.


EMPLOYMENT LEGISLATION: HEALTH AND SAFETY By law the employers of a business are required to take charge of health and safety within the workplace. It is the employers duty to make sure that anyone who could be affected by the business, including employees, are kept out of harms way, protecting their welfare and health and safety. Employers should do everything in their power to do this. This job entails controlling the risks within the workplace and making sure that the workers are protected from these risks. It also involves assessing the workplace for these risks, taking note of all of them in Risk Assessment paperwork. Employers must give the workers all information about these risks, and provide the training and instruction to deal with those risks. Health and Safety consultation must be provided and must be direct or through a safety representative, elected by the trade union or the workplace.


EMPLOYMENT LEGISLATION: HEALTH AND SAFETY (CONTINUED) The Health and Safety at Work etc. Act of 1974, often abbreviated as HASAW or HSW, is an example of Primary Legislation which covers all occupational Health and Safety legislation in the United Kingdom. A Health and Safety executive is responsible for making sure that the HASAW, among other acts and statutory agreements, are enforced. Statutory agreements are secondary types of legislation made under specific acts of Parliament, covering a range of subjects from control of Asbestos at work, to diving and ionizing radiation.


EMPLOYMENT LEGISLATION: EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES The Equality Act of 2010 brings together a combination of many laws, some of which have been enforced for a very long time, in this way the act becomes simpler and easier to understand. The aim of Equal Opportunity laws is to make the workplace a safe and comfortable place for all workers by making sure that protected characteristics are not discriminated against in any way. Protected Characteristics involve such things as age, disability, gender, race or religion. The laws are in place to “Secure an effective legal and regulatory framework for equality and human rights by influencing legislative and policy developments and by using our statutory powers.” – (Equalityhumanrights.com)


EMPLOYMENT LEGISLATION: EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES (CONTINUED) The CEPR is a European network of researchers in economics. They operate “Fairly, Justly and in accordance with the laws� and insists that they do not discriminate based on Gender, Race, Disability or Religion. CEPR also insists that they do not judge any employee, or potential employee for that matter, based on Political Ideals or Sexual Orientation. The company promises that they regularly monitor to make sure that these policies are upheld and will adjust their policies based on changing legislation to ensure that these polices are updated and in accordance with the current laws. The current laws followed and supported by CEPR are: Sex Discrimination Act 1975 Race Relations Act 1976 Equal Pay Acts 1970 and 1983 Disability Discrimination Act 1995 Human Rights Act 1998, among others.


EMPLOYMENT LEGISLATION: EMPLOYERS LIABILITY All employers must have insurance to cover their liability over injury of employees, including the younger members of employment for the duration of their time of work. However this liability insurance is not needed if the employee is a closely related family member of the employer and works on the basis of family business. A certificate of insurance will be given to the employer from the insurer and must be displayed at all times in the workplace, to ensure that the workers are aware that they are protected by this liability insurance. If a business has students on work experience present, they must be treated as employee’s for the duration of said work experience so that they to are covered by this insurance.


EMPLOYMENT LEGISLATION: EMPLOYEE RIGHTS When entering a contract of employment, the potential employee gains a series of rights and privileges, these rights and privileges are upheld by the employer and should be respected at all times. The Rights of Pay: Whether or not there is work to be done on the day the employee attends work, he/she has the right to be paid. The employee is also entitled to Maternity/Paternity pay, Sick pay and Adoption pay, unless of course the employee is freelance, in which case, these rights do not apply to said employee. However, the employee can expect some deductions in pay that are fully authorised by law including Income Tax, National Insurance and Student Loan repayments. Other than these legal deductions, the employer cannot make any other deductions without the employees consent unless you have been overpaid in the past or the employee obtains a court order to do so.


EMPLOYMENT LEGISLATION: EMPLOYEE RIGHTS (CONTINUED) The Minimum Wage: The UK uses Minimum wage as a way to make sure that employees are protected from underpayment and is monitored by the Low Pay Commission. It is the job of the Low Pay Commission to ensure that the salaries of UK workers are in line with the salaries of other European countries. The National Minimum Wage is: For those aged 21 or over is £6.08 per hour, For those aged 18 to 20 the rate is £4.98, For those aged 16-17 the rate is £3.68 per hour, Apprentices under 19, or over 19 and in the first year of their apprenticeship, are now entitled to a minimum wage of £2.60 an hour. Redundancy: Redundancy is the event in which the employer cannot afford to pay the employee or does not require the employee’s services anymore. The employee cannot be made redundant simply to be rid of him/her, or if the employee requires Maternity/ Paternity leave. The employees have the right to be told in writing that they will be made redundant and can appeal against this redundancy. The employer should discuss the redundancy with a union.


EMPLOYMENT LEGISLATION: TRADE UNIONS Trade Unions: A Trade Union is a collective organisation that works to represent the workers to the employers. The trade union will accompany the worker to disciplinary hearings and represent the employee if the employee feels that their rights are being infringed. They offer free legal advise and help with difficulties in pay, working conditions and unfair dismissal etc. To strike against an employer, the employee must be a member of a trade union. While Trade Unions are independent from any employer, they still try to maintain close working relationships with employers, mainly in the form of a partnership agreement that identifies the common interests of the Trade Union and the employer and their agreement to reach these common goals and objectives.


EMPLOYMENT LEGISLATION: COPYRIGHT Copyright is the law that protects the work of a creator from any medium including film, dance, literature etc. These laws are in place to protect your intellectual property from theft and make sure that the person who made this work receives the credit for it. The law states that you cannot reproduce the copyrighted work under any other medium without the copyright holders permission. An intellectual property can also have more than one copyright attached to it, an album of music for example, can have a copyright for each song, the album as a whole and the cover art that is on the front of the album. However, copyright does not protect the surrounding ideas that led to the creation of the copyrighted material, instead only protecting the material itself, allowing for other creators to make work based on those ideas and not limiting the creativity of others.


ETHICAL: CODES OF PRACTICE Codes of Practice exist to establish what can and cannot be done in productions such as advertising. For example, advertisements are not allowed to condone things that could cause harm to children, and should not condone anything that would be dangerous for children to copy. These rules are put in place to ensure that children are not subjected to inappropriate material and to ensure the safety of the viewers. Here is an example of some points that would appear in a Code of Practice. 1.1 Material that might seriously impair the physical, mental or moral development of people under eighteen must not be broadcast. 1.2 In the provision of services, broadcasters must take all reasonable steps to protect people under eighteen. For television services, this is in addition to their obligations resulting from the Audiovisual Media Services Directive (in particular, Article 27, see Appendix 2). 1.3 Children must also be protected by appropriate scheduling from material that is unsuitable for them.


ETHICAL: POLICY Advertising: The BBC is not permitted to carry advertising or sponsorship on its public services. This keeps them independent of commercial interests and ensures that they can be run instead to serve the general public interest. Child Protection: The BBC works with many children every year in a variety of ways and has a Child Protection Policy. This supports staff in putting into practice the BBC's commitment to safeguarding the welfare of children and young people under the age of 18. Decency and the TV watershed: Every audience includes people of different ages, cultures, religions and sensibilities. A warning is transmitted if we judge that some people may find a particular broadcast distressing. We never intentionally try to cause offence. Audience sensibilities and standards vary widely, yet factual and fictional programs must reflect fairly and accurately people's different experiences, ways of using language and realities of life. 


ETHICAL: REPRESENTATION The BBC Royal Charter states that the must represent viewers of all ethnicities and religions. This means that people of all races and creeds must be shown in the BBC’s broadcasts, whether it is Sign Zone for those who are hard of hearing, or Songs of Praise for the christian viewers of the programs. The BBC states that their use of representation: “Promotes awareness of different cultures and alternative viewpoints, through content that reflects the lives of different people and different communities within the UK.” The Television soap opera “Eastenders” has a variety of different cultural, social and ethical groups and is a good example of the BBC’s use of representation.


LEGAL: The Broadcasting act of 1990: A law of British Parliament, often used as a prime example of Thatcherism, that’s aim was to reform British Television Broadcasting. This act led to the creation of Multichannel Satellite Television and a 5th analogue terrestrial channel, now known today as Channel 5. The Race Relations Act of 1976: A British Parliamentary law that’s aim is to prevent racial discrimination. The items that are listed on this act include discrimination based on race, ethnicity, nationality, color and origins in fields of employment, education, public functions and the provision of services and goods. The Obscene Publications Act of 1857: A series of British laws that control what can and cannot be published in England and Wales. A published item that is considered Criminally Obscene is one that is considered something that “Tends to corrupt and deprave.”


LEGAL: B.B.F.C The BBFC, or British Board of Film Classification, is a non-governmental organisation that works on the National Classification of films in the UK as well as Censorship. Under the Video Recordings Act of 2010, it has become a legal requirement to censor films and media, including games and DVD’s, for offensive material. The BBFC classifies theatrically released film, meaning that all films that are released to cinema must first go through the BBFC. The BBFC originally was known as the British Board of Film Censors and was started by a group of people who would much rather censor videos themselves then have the Government do it for them.


LEGAL: OFCOM Ofcom is the organisation responsible for licensing all UK commercial television services and is also known as The Office of Communication. This section contains information for licensees, including guidance notes and updates, as well as application forms and a list of current Ofcom TV broadcast licensees. Ofcom has wide-ranging powers across the television, radio, internet, telecoms and postal sectors. It has a statutory duty to represent the interests of citizens and consumers by promoting competition and protecting the public from what might be considered harmful or offensive material. Some of the main areas Ofcom presides over are licensing, Research, codes and policies, complaints, competition and protecting the radio spectrum from abuse.


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