Entertainers’ Engagement rights – 18/11/2020

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Entertainers may struggle to understand the processes and legal procedures of agencies. According to the GOV.UK website, you are an entertainment agency worker if you have a contract with an agency, but you work temporarily for a hirer. You are not an entertainment agency worker if you use an agency to find permanent or fixed-term employment.

Before you are offered a job, your agency must give you information about the work they are trying to find you. They must give you:

A key information document, which is a short explanation of how you will be paid and what deductions will be applied. It must include:

  • The minimum rate of pay you can can expect
  • A sample payslip giving an estimate of your take-home pay after tax
  • Who is paying you
  • If you have any fees to pay
  • If you are entitled to any benefits

And Terms of Engagement, which should include:

  • Whether you are employed under a contract for services or a contract of employment
  • Your notice period
  • Your pay
  • Your holiday entitlement

An agency cannot change your terms and conditions without telling you. If you agree to changes, you must be given a new document with the full details of the changes and the date they changed.

When your are offered a job, the agency must give you a written statement that outlines:

  • Your start date
  • How long the contract is likely to last
  • The type of work
  • About an expenses you have to pay
  • The location
  • Your hours
  • About any health and safety risks
  • About any experience, training or qualifications needed for the role

Entertainment agencies can charge you a fee for finding you work, e.g.: taking a commission from your earnings and to publish your details online or in a publication. They must tell you in writing if a fee is involved.

Entertainers’ rights if your details are being published: 

Once you receive the contract, you have a 30-day ‘cooling off’ period when you:

  • can cancel or withdraw from it without getting a penalty
  • do not have to pay

The agency must show you what it plans to publish about you before it’s published.

You then have up to 7 days after the cooling off period to say if you do not want the information to be published. If you’re happy, you must pay after the 7 days.


You’ve paid to be promoted on a casting agency’s website. The agency shows you the photos 29 days after you signed the contract and you’re not happy with them. You have 8 days to demand a refund.

If the agency charged you but did not publish your name, you have the right to a refund for up to 60 days.



The Entertainment Sector can be a confusing area of work – especially if it is your full-time career. Knowing how to take control of your time and money while still adhering to HMRC rules can be a tedious task.

Our Director Andrea L Richards has written an E-Book on the most common mistakes made by Entertainers and expert advice on how to avoid and overcome them. 

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