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Implications of Bryson Decision Not Widespread

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Implications for Screen Industry of Bryson Decision Not Widespread

SPADA, the Screen Production and Development Association of New Zealand said that today’s Supreme Court’s decision on the Bryson case is not likely to have widespread implications for engagement of workers in the New Zealand screen industry.

“We agree with the statement issued by the New Zealand Writers Guild that this decision is not any cause for over- reaction in the industry as the original finding of the Employment Court was very much based on the specific circumstances of the case,” said SPADA CEO, Penelope Borland. “It is important that contracts meet the proper tests for a contract for services and we have been and will continue to emphasize that to our screen production industry members.”

“Today’s decision does not make any significant change to the way contractors are engaged in the screen industry,” said Ms Borland. She said that the infrastructure surrounding the production of The Lord of the Rings was very different from how the rest of the industry operates with production companies engaging people for one off, usually shorter term productions.

In addition, the Supreme Court has simply restored the judgment of the Employment Court as it found there was not a significant error of law in that Court's decision to have warranted a hearing by the Court of Appeal, SPADA said.

“The Employment Court judge emphasized that her decision that Bryson was an employee was based solely on his individual circumstances and was not to be regarded as having widespread implications for the status of other workers in the industry,” said Ms Borland.

ENDS

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