Maharashtra Government’s SOP for Entertainment Industry; Now, cine unions cannot stop hiring of non-members

By Raju Vernekar
Mumbai, Apr 3:

The Maharashtra Government recently issued Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for entertainment industry, including production of films and TV sops,  under which no cine unions can stop hiring of non-members and disturb the shootings.
There have been many incidents of the union members boycotting the shooting and controlling the Film and Television Producers’ actions on hiring talent for almost 25 years. Now the SOP come as great relief to film makers.
As per the SOP circulated by Indian Motion Pictures Producers ‘Association (IMPPA), any person can work for any producer and no union can stop him/her. No card of any union is required to enter the sets. However a permission of the producer will be required, else an offence of trespass can be registered under sections 442 to 462.of the Indian Penal Code. The SOP make it clear that any place hired by producer has to be considered is private place.
The unions will have to file annual returns of their activities for January-December by April 30 of the subsequent year. Failing which they can be derecognized.
Women Safety
The producer will have to provide safe transport to women working in night shifts. They  they will have to ensure that there is no sexual harassment of women. Besides, changing rooms, hygienic washing rooms will have to be made available during indoor and outdoor shooting.
Child artistes
Under the Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Amendment Rules, 2017, the child artists below 14 years of age can be engaged, but no artist can be made to work for more than 5 hours in a day. Also, no artist can be made to work for more than 03 hours without rest. A permission of District Collector will have to be obtained for engaging child artists. Such permission will be valid for 06 months.
No child artist can be engaged consecutively for 27 days to ensure that his/her education is not jeopardized. A consent letter from parents will have to be obtained before hiring the child artist. A responsible person per 05 children, will have to be deputed to take care of the children. 20 percent income earned will have to be deposited in Fixed Deposit account of the artist in a nationalized bank. The accumulated amount will be given to the artist after he/she becomes adult.
Employee Register  
The producers will be required to maintain attendance and the wages register as per the Minimum Wages Act 1948 and Disbursement of Salary Rules 1936. The producers engaging up to 1000 workers will have to ensure that the wages are paid by 7 th of the month and the amount will have to be deposited in employees’ bank accounts or the payment can be made by cheque. There should not be deductions more than 50 per cent of the wages. No employee can be terminated without one month’ notice as per the Industrial Disputes Act 1947.
The producers engaging the skilled workers on contract basis will have to pay wages within 30 days under the Payment of Wages Act 1936. No unauthorized deduction will be made from the workers’ dues. Also, the producers with 50 or more employees will have to pay House Rent Allowance @ 5 per cent of the wages.
As per the Payment of Bonus Act 1965, the producers employing 10 or more employees drawing salary up to Rs 21000 per month, will have to pay 8.33 per cent bonus if the employee works for 30 days and if the work gets over. The payment will have to be made at the time of the final settlement.
As per the Gratuity Rules 1972, the gratuity will be paid if the employee works for more than 5 years, even if the employee leaves or removed from service. It will be 15 days per completed year. In case of the employee’s death, 15 days salary, will have to be given if he has completed one year of service. If the employee has worked for three months, 07 days salary will have be given.
Provident Fund
The producers employing up to 20 employees drawing monthly salary of Rs 15,000 per month, will be required to deposit 12 per cent amount deducted from employee’s salary  + one per cent administrative charges into Provident Fund account, so that employees can get the benefit of the Provident Scheme 1952, Pension scheme 1995 and the Deposit Linked Insurance Scheme 1976.
The producers employing more than 10 employees drawing salary up to Rs 21,000 per month will have to deduct 0.75 per cent from the employees’ salary and deposit 3.25 per cent as own contribution under the Employees State Insurance Scheme to ensure benefits of medicare,  maternity benefits, under the ESIS Act 1948.

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