BOURNEMOUTH, UK — Outpost VFX (https://outpost-vfx.com) has introduced an enhanced overtime policy for its UK PAYE artists and production staff. Team members up to a lead position will be eligible for 1.5x pay on all work beyond 40 hours per week, plus any and all weekend work. The move addresses a lack of regulation on overtime payment in the UK VFX sector and aligns the Bournemouth studio with Outpost’s operations in Montreal and Los Angeles.
“We know we cannot always control or change the demands of project-based work in film and episodic, nor client requests,” explains Outpost VF COO, Gez Hixson. “However, everyone involved in delivering this work needs to be properly remunerated for any extra hours they put in…It’s abundantly clear that overtime laws in the UK do not protect visual effects workers or anyone in the creative sector, whereas in other regions, there are clear regulations in place. In addition, the VFX sector has, in our view, purveyed a culture built on extra hours for no extra pay.”
The new overtime policy covers all artists from junior to lead level, and all production staff, from production assistant to production manager. In addition to the proposed changes to overtime for these employees, Outpost will introduce an additional policy for producers and supervisors to prevent them from working overtime hours without remuneration, and will formalize its Indian overtime commitments ahead of the opening of its Mumbai facility.
“We have always paid for overtime in the UK, but we felt that our policy didn’t align with our studios in Montreal and Los Angeles,” continues Hixson. “In those regions, employees are legally entitled to overtime pay systems that we felt were superior to what we were offering voluntarily.”
According to GOV.UK, in the United Kingdom there is no legal requirement for employers to pay for overtime as long as an employee’s average hourly earnings aren’t lower than the National Minimum Wage.