How to deal with employers who do not pay actors minimum wage
Contact Equity (0207 379 6000 or [email protected]) and ask to be put in touch with the relevant Organiser (this will depend on whether the production comes under the category of live performance or recorded media, and the geographical location of the company's base). You should be able to do this even if you are not a member of Equity.
The relevant Organiser will then write to the company, pointing out their legal obligations. Often, that is enough, as companies would prefer not to be in conflict with Equity, but if it is not, Equity will then report the company to the relevant government department which is responsible for enforcing the National Minimum Wage.
Something else that you can do (or ask Equity to do for you) is to report the company to the FCA (the government's Financial Conduct Authority, which regulates the financial dealings of every company in the country. It is certainly not cost-effective for a company to pay less than the National Minimum Wage and get reported to the Financial Conduct Authority. the reasons for this are as follows: -
1. Every company in the country is required by law to be registered with the Financial Conduct Authority and to submit a return each year and to attach to the return form a copy of their financial accounts and a copy of their balance sheet.
2. It takes a great deal of work (or expense in Accountancy fees) to produce Financial Accounts and a Balance Sheet.
3. Any company that has failed to register with the Financial Conduct Authority, or failed to submit Corporation Tax Returns each year, or failed to submit an annual return to the Financial Conduct Authority will be fined.
4. The fines are for sums of thousands of pounds, enough to put many small companies out of business.
5. If the Financial Conduct Authority decides that the company's financial conduct has been sufficiently illegal, the directors of the company may be prosecuted, and a guilty verdict resulting from such prosecutions may result in the directors being sentenced
to a term of imprisonment.