The Government has identified 5 levels in the roadmap. We are currently at level 2 and for the Arts this means the following;

Indoor events
With 2 metre social distance and sanitisation arrangements – 50 people plus performers and staffing

Larger venues – With 2 metre social distance, sanitisation arrangements, multiple exits and a one way system – 100 people

These rules apply to hotels and other venues for indoor live performance events. 

Outdoor events
With 2 metre social distance and sanitisation arrangements – up to 100 people

Larger venues such as stadia with a capacity of 5,000, with 2 metre social distance and sanitisation arrangements.

If we move to level 1;
With 2 metre social distance and sanitisation arrangements all indoor events will be up to 100 patrons and 200 patrons in larger venues and outdoor will move to 200 everywhere and up to 500 in large 5,000 capacity stadia. 2 metre social distance and sanitisation arrangements will still apply.

It is now clarified that artists can continue to claim the PUP payment up until the end of the year. If they need to sign off for a job they can re-access their PUP claim again.

Also now clarified – The PUP does allow some limited scope for a self-employed person to engage in once-off or emergency work and still retain eligibility for this payment. In this instance once-off or emergency work would mean occasional, irregular, infrequent, or isolated events, where there is a clear divergence from previous employment patterns. Where the work undertaken is of a regular nature or generates significant income the pandemic unemployment payment would no longer be payable.

https://irishequity.ie/3595-2/

Returning to Work in the Audio Visual Sector

Returning to work in the Audio Visual sector – see the industry guidance documents for safe working in Film and TV Drama (live action) and Factual and Entertainment here

Registering Copyright

There is no registration procedure for copyright works under Irish copyright law, copyright protection is automatic and arises upon the creation of an original work. 

However, the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) has expanded its services targeting innovators and creators active in the digital economy by becoming a trusted Time Stamping Authority (TSA).  On 27th May 2020 WIPO launched a new tool called ‘WIPO PROOF’ to deliver this service.

Please note that you will incur a charge if you decide to avail of this service, further information on WIPO PROOF is available through the portal: https://wipoproof.wipo.int/wdts/, any queries regarding this new service should be issued directly to WIPO through the portal.

Irish Equity concerned at remarks by Minister for Social Protection about artists

Irish Equity members have welcomed the clarification by the Minister for Social Protection, Community and Rural Development, Heather Humphreys, on her earlier comments made last weekend regarding the future expectations of work within the Arts in Ireland.

Irish Equity spokesperson, Karan O Loughlin said: “As artists prepare for hopeful signs of a managed return to what they do best the Minister for Social Protection it appeared, had already concluded that ‘some jobs will never return and there is no point in waiting for the never never.’

“Our members in Irish Equity were extremely disappointed at the comments as we would have expected a more considered and enlightened approach from a person that previously had responsibility for the Arts. 

“After barely a month in her new post, the Minister consigned thousands of hard-working and highly skilled artists to a future with no hope of working in their chosen field again. Instead, she wanted artists and other experienced workers to ‘re-skill, re-train and look at other jobs they can take up’. Ms Humphreys has now issued a clarification of her remarks which our members have welcomed. 

“Artists in this country are already incredibly skilled people. We recognise the impact of Covid-19 across all sectors of Irish society and what we need now is to hear what plans and creative supports are being prepared by the Government to assist people go back to their jobs. We need to see a strategy that will allow our renowned artists to get back to making world class art, not the bleak and ill-considered diagnosis that consigns artists to the bin.

“The Ministers’ comments came at a time when the first tentative steps are being taken towards a return to live theatre, with Bewley’s Café Theatre staging a performance by Michael Ford in the premises of The Irish Georgian Society in Dublin. Other events in the city include a series of short plays being staged in The International Bar by Peter Reid and selected readings from Christine Dwyer Hickey’s book Tattyat The New Theatre.”

“There was no suggestion that our artists should re-train and go and look for other jobs while they were keeping the population entertained and engaged all through lockdown,” Karan O Loughlin said. “Irish Equity members will continue to work with our colleagues in theatre, film and other performing arts to ensure that they get the respect and opportunities they deserve.”  

Irish Equity Webinar

Register Now for the Irish Equity WEBINAR on Thursday 6th August at 3.00 p.m. where you can ask about Equity and talk to us directly about getting professionally organised for better conditions at work.

Registration is now closed.

Irish Equity says support measures for the Arts do not go far enough

Irish Equity has today (Monday, 22nd June) called on the Government to put artists and arts workers first in planning for the recovery.

Irish Equity Organiser, Karan O’Loughlin said: “We have seen movement from the Government over the last week in increasing the funding for the Arts and now we also have the report of the COVID-19 Expert Advisory Group.

“While all of these initiatives are welcome, neither goes far enough to create the structural change and support needed for individual artists and arts workers. Funding the arts is not the same thing as funding artists and these issues should not be confused. Working in the live performance sector in Ireland is precarious, is characterised with insecure freelance work, low pay, long hours and has no measures in respect of industry pensions.

“What we need is a structure to support artists and arts workers in making a decent living while remaining within their chosen profession. This can be done by creating special measures such as a basic income scheme for artists, dedicated social protection measures for employed as well as self- employed freelance workers and taxation measures for professional artists that are fit for purpose. The measures announced to date deliver none of the above. Until the precarious existence of actors and arts workers is recognised the Arts, and in turn the artists and arts workers who bring so much joy, colour and creativity to our lives, will remain the poor relation in the economy.”

Combatting Harassment

We are glad to announce the new International Federation of Actors (FIA) Manual on Combatting Sexual Harassment is now available online and for download here in English, French and Spanish: DOWNLOAD NOW

This practical tool focuses on methodology and features “Resources, Inspiration and Recommended Practices among Performer Unions”. In addition, the FIA secretariat also maintains a page of online resources on the FIA website: DOWNLOAD NOW

Read the Irish Equity Bullying & Harassment Policy document

Irish Equity would like to invite you to read, use and share these links
and documents

Irish Equity welcomes additional €25 million funding for Arts sector

Irish Equity has welcomed the announcement by the Government of vital additional funding for the arts and cultural sector, amounting to a total of €25 million. This will bring funding for the Arts Council in 2020 to €100 million.

SIPTU Divisional Organiser, Karan O’Loughlin said: “This funding will help to stabilise a sector which has been decimated by the Covid-19 pandemic but which has also been struggling for years as a result of chronic underfunding.  

“We now await the report of the Arts Council Expert Advisory Group and their recommendations around how these additional funds will be allocated. Continued and increased structural funding for the arts is necessary but the question of how artists are treated from an income, taxation and social protection point of view remains open. 

“Irish Equity has long been calling on the Government to recognise the special circumstances of artists by way of introducing a basic income structure and expanding the current artist exemption scheme beyond its current remit. 

“In this regard, we will continue to be focused on how funding decisions can directly benefit arts practitioners themselves and we are encouraged by the acknowledgement by the Minister for Arts, Josepha Madigan, of the precarious nature of much work by arts practitioners within the sector. It is vitally important that this hard-won additional funding is proportionately used to maximise the opportunities for work and for the creation of better conditions for artists.

“Irish Equity also recognises the dedication and hard work of the various support organisations for artists which have lobbied, researched and documented key findings on pay and conditions within the sector. In particular, the National Campaign for the Arts, Theatre Forum and the Irish Theatre Institute are to be commended for the collaborative and consultative approach they have taken to make the voice of Irish artists heard. Irish Equity looks forward to continuing our very productive partnership with all these representative groups.”

Letter to An Taoiseach on Arts & Cultural Sector Funding

Members – Send us your email address

Irish Equity members if you are not receiving updates from us via email then please email equity@siptu.ie with your name, Irish Equity membership number and email address and we will update your contact details to include your email address.