European Federation of Journalists

Meeting the challenge of atypical working – new handbook launched

The Media, Arts and Entertainment sector has seen significant changes in the structure of the labour market and in the organisation of work both within and outside the framework of the traditional employment relationships – with an established trend towards various forms of atypical working arrangements.

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), the International Federation of Actors (FIA), UNI MEI and the International Federation of Musicians (FIM) have today launched a handbook on ”The Future of Work in the Arts, Media & Entertainment Sector”, outlining conclusions and recommendations addressing atypical work in the Media, Arts and Entertainment sector.

The launch of the handbook coincides with an event, co-organised by the four federations on how to meet the challenge of atypical working, taking place on 8 and 9 September in Brussels.

The Arts, Media and Entertainment sector is characterised by project-based work and freelancing traditions which means it is likely to be ahead of the curve and show trends now that will likely expand in the future with new working relationships driven, among other things, by the rise of internet platforms and other forms of digital working.

Working conditions of atypical workers in European labour markets show a range of factors that could contribute to precariousness and vulnerability

  • little or no job security or legal/conventional/contractual protection;
  • insecure, low or inadequate income;
  • absence of worker choice regarding basic working conditions such as workplace, job description, working time, etc;
  • absence of proper social protection in case of unemployment, pregnancy and maternity, incapacity (e.g. sickness, accidents) and old age;
  • low health and safety standards;
  • limited access to training opportunities;
  • limited trade union representation or collective bargaining coverage.

There are growing concerns among unions, and indeed policy-makers, that many forms of work arrangements do not provide workers with adequate protection and are increasingly resulting in precarious work. Regulatory frameworks, enforcement and labour inspections systems, active labour market policies and the judicial systems will need updating to be accessible to all workers, regardless of the nature of their employment relationship or work arrangement.