NSW Entertainment Industry Act

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Just a reminder about the new Entertainment Industry Act 2013 (NSW), and associated Regulations, (the “Act”) that came into effect on 1 March 2014 (with some provisions to 1 March 2015) for NSW Performing Artists and their Managers/Agents/Reps.

Brett Oaten has put together the below summary for his clients, which he has kindly agreed to share with all AAM members.

The important changes to the Act for Managers include the following:

1. The requirement to apply for a licence and lodge a bond with NSW Industrial Relations has been removed.

2. While the fees for performer’s representatives (what the industry would typically call "agents”) are capped at 10%, managers can charge higher commissions provided that:

(a) they have entered into a written entertainment industry managerial agreement (“Management Agreement”) that recognises that the manager is providing additional services to the performer in relation to the management of the performer’s reputation, career or career development; and

(b) the Management Agreement contains an ‘additional fee acknowledgment’ that makes it clear that the performer will be charged fees in excess of the fee caps in the Act in return for the managerial services.

3.  Performers who sign a Management Agreement are also entitled to a cooling-off period of 3 days in which they can seek advice about the agreement and, if they wish, terminate the agreement without penalty.  The cooling-off period can be waived if agreed by the parties in writing at the time the Management Agreement is signed.

4. The Manager must provide the performer, at the time of entering into a Management Agreement, with the ‘Information for Performers’ fact sheet by NSW Industrial Relations and if the performer is a child then they must also be provided with the 'Children’s Guardian' fact sheet. 

5. The Act includes a new code of conduct to apply to the services provided by Managers of NSW based Artists.

All Management Agreements are required from this month to comply with the new Act and so you will need to either provide an amending letter to your artists with whom you have an existing Management Agreement or provide them with a new Management Agreement.

There may be some concern about the perception that you are charging above the caps, but if you explain that the caps are for agents and you can only charge more if you do more than an agent - as a manager does - this should be readily understandable.

There are 2 fact sheets (one for all Performer Representatives, and another specific to Managers) and a checklist for Managers that NSW Industrial Relations have put together.

We recommend seeking advice from your preferred legal representative for help to prepare the clauses you need, or a pro-forma amending agreement.

The AAM are planning a meeting with the NSW Industrial Relations Dept. in order to discuss the clauses relevant to Managers. This legislation exists in NSW only at this point.

Colin McAlpine