Skip to main content

The future of work is less like the grit and hard-work of Detroit, but rather the flashy and free lifestyle of Hollywood. In Hollywood actors walk the red carpet, starring in blockbusters, reading through scripts. They jump from role to role, a superhero one day and a down on their luck accountant the next. They aren’t stuck in the rigidity of a single job and employment contract, but rather act in a manner not dissimilar to contractors and freelancers, moving from one job to another with a certain freedom and flexibility.hollywood_sign_zuschnitt

However, actors aren’t thrown into the waters of Hollywood and expected to swim on their own. If a production company sends through a script, or in essence a job offer, the actor has a manager or a talent agency that will read through the contracts and represent the interests of the actor, and help the actor understand the dynamics of the employment opportunity to allow the actor to do what they do best – act.

In the New World of Work, this Hollywood attitude defines the future of employment. Detroit with their factories and traditional working mode is being replaced with the concept of contractors and freelancers. It’s arguable that this shift is due to the millennials entering the workforce, but regardless of the driving force behind the shift, the shift needs to be acknowledged.
This new generation of contractors and freelancers have received their script, they have their job, but do they really understand the contract or how they will be paid?

While some contractors will be well equipped to manage on their own, able to negotiate their own employment contract and understand how to invoice for their services, as well as ensure that they pay the relevant taxes.

There are other who won’t be able to manage on their own, there are services that can assist them, a talent agency of sort for the everyday contractor. Companies which offer salary management services can take a contractor onto their own books and negotiate the contract with the best interests of the contractor in their mind. They are able to offer the concept of salary packaging, or paying for certain items prior to tax with the mind to maximise the take home salary, which is allowed by the ATO. They can also payroll the contractor, invoicing for the services that the contractor provides.

Salaries are so often taken at face value, but with the idea of a ‘normal job’ flying out the window, a ‘normal salary’ seems unnecessary. Salary management involves looking closely at the person’s salary, knowing how all the pieces fit together, and rearranging them so that they end up keeping more in their wallet by the end.

However, in the new Hollywood world, it’s not just the actors that can work in the flexible manner of contractors. Let’s assume a studio has a collection of set designers, costume designers, editors all working under an ordinary payroll system, employed and paid by the studio. While the studio pays the actors manager, who has invoiced for the actors service, and then paid the actor themselves, the studio has a more direct link to the other staff. Its time and effort to work out the payroll for each individual employee, who each works under a different award, and due to the nature of film, may be working extraordinary hours. What if there was a way to keep those employees employed by the studio, but have the hassles of payroll and tax outsourced to a salary management company. Those employees could then enjoy the perks of salary packaging, being able to play with their pay, and the studio is more freed up to supervise the production and post-production of the project.

In the Hollywood New World of Work, your business is the studio and your employees are the set designers, costume designers, editors. Your contractors are the actors, the people you employ to work on a specific project. The same type of ‘talent agency and management’ does exist in the business world, and it’s possible to outsource your back office to a third party who can run your people for you. It’s also possible for individual contractors to have someone represent their best interests in executing the employment contract and ensuring they are paid on time.

For more information about our salary management or back office services contract Pendragon Management… talk to us… [email protected] or +61 2 9407 8700

Purnima Kabra