Director pay rates - the challenge
Freelance directors should be paid fairly, appropriately and proportionately, both by way of salary and rights payments.
Proper investment in the creative people who make great programmes is essential for our TV and film industries to thrive. For many directors, pay rates have effectively been frozen despite producers and broadcasters making healthy profits, the expansion of subscription services and the growth of new content platforms attracting increasing numbers of subscribers.
Directors, as the creative leads, are responsible for navigating productions through increasingly pressured schedules and tightening budgets, while embracing new working practices and technologies and acquiring new skills. But while the expectations placed on the director have significantly increased, the pay for this complex, specialist work has not. Responsibility and seniority on set is no longer recognised through production pay structures and working conditions, with directors no longer guaranteed to be the highest paid person on the crew.
Although we are not a trade union, Directors UK does negotiate pay deals with production companies on behalf of our members. On this page you can find details of our work and the terms and pay rates we have negotiated.
If you would like Directors UK to help with pay levels in your area of work, please let us know at [email protected]
BBC pay deal
In June 2017 Directors UK and the BBC reached an agreement on a new pay deal for directors working on their five continuing drama series: Casualty, Holby City, EastEnders, Father Brown and Doctors. The deal has been renewed in April 2019 with a 2% increase in rates.
The BBC has agreed that pay progression within the maximum and minimum pay ranges will be determined through a more formal creative conversation between the director and the executive producer or series producer. The outcome of these conversations will be relayed to the talent team who will consider it and will use it as the basis of negotiation for the next booking.
ITV pay deal
In October 2015, Directors UK agreed a new pay deal with ITV Studios to cover freelance directors working on Coronation Street and Emmerdale. This deal has been renewed in June 2022 with a 3% increase in rates.
Hollyoaks Pay Deal
In August 2018 Directors UK and Lime Pictures agreed terms for directors working on Hollyoaks.