Journal and News

Rates of Pay Guidance

What should we pay?

From time to time we are asked about rates of pay that are not covered by our union agreements. Whilst we cannot set rates for members to pay we can offer practical guidance on what might be appropriate in non-standard circumstances. Some basic rules include:

Daily rates

Where there is a negotiated weekly rate a daily rate should never be less than the relevant minimum divided by six. Do bear in mind though that if someone is working for you for a day or two it is likely to be difficult for them to fill up the other days and earn a full week’s salary that week so we always recommend paying well over that 1/6 week figure, aim for at least £120-£150 per day.

Part weeks

As with day rates do try and pay more than just the exact proportion of the agreed weekly rate.

Rates for roles where there is no union agreement e.g: composers, dramaturgs, sound designers

We do not have collective national agreements for everyone, some roles are not represented by unions. One way to calculate an appropriate rate is to compare these roles with someone for whom there is a union rate, see how important they are and scale the rate accordingly e.g: a composer for a musical may be doing just as much as a writer so should get a similar level of remuneration, a composer/sound designer composing something that is original but in the background should probably be offered less.

What does it mean?

These are some of the most common questions we get asked to clarify.

Relocation Allowance

Relocation Allowance is an allowance paid to company members when working at base, if their home is at least 25 miles from the company base and if they are incurring additional accommodation costs. This allowance is capped at £129 p/w in London and £104.80 p/w outside London (2021/22 rates) and is payable for up to 16 weeks. Alternatively, the Company can provide accommodation. This allowance is referred to as “Subsistence” in some other (non-ITC) industry agreements.

Commuting Allowance

Commuting Allowance is payable to anyone not receiving relocation allowance if their travel costs are more than £25.20 per week when working at base. This allowance is capped at £129p/w inside London and £104.80 p/w outside London (2021/22 rates).

Per diems

This term is often used to refer to daily allowances for meals and accommodation that are provided when on tour. In the past round sum allowances in union agreements were exempt from tax and NI so the employee had a cash sum to do as they wished with. Since the late 1990s the rules have changed and, whilst you will not be deducting tax or NI at source from performers or stage managers pay packets in most cases they will have to declare this in tax returns and may have to pay out. The ITC/Equity agreement now offers three alternative ways of providing on tour sustenance:

  • Provide accommodation and meals (breakfast and one other meal only)
  • Provide round sum allowances to cover bed, breakfast and one other meal.
  • Reimburse costs actually incurred (this can be up to a pre-agreed maximum, which must not be lower than the agreed ITC/Equity round sum allowance)

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