UK Distribution Scheme

Under the terms of the Directors’ Rights Agreement Directors UK receives an annual payment to compensate freelance television directors for the secondary use of their work.

Directors UK is charged with the responsibility of devising, implementing and administering a scheme for the distribution of payments to individual directors. This takes account of the type of programme, the length of the work and the form of the secondary use. The scheme is based on information supplied by broadcasters.

The scheme applies to all works for which the director was engaged under a freelance contract which commenced on or after 1 July 2001. To benefit, directors must be registered with Directors UK as full or distribution only members.

If you think you may be due payment under these new arrangements or require further information contact Simone Cammarota at the Directors UK office on distribution@directors.uk.com.

For full details of the scheme, either see below for the online version or download the PDF.

If you have received a UK payment from Directors UK and would like further information on VAT and the codes used on your invoice please click here.

Rules of Distribution (UK)

Management Charges

A management fee is deducted from each payment issued. This is currently 10% of the gross amount for UK payments.

VAT is charged on the management fee in the case of all payments issued to UK residents and to EU residents who are not themselves registered for VAT.

VAT is not charged on payments issued to residents outside the European Union or where the member is a resident of another EU country and is VAT registered.

An additional charge of £10 + VAT is deducted from all payments issued by cheque where the payment is issued to a UK resident. A receipt for this amount is sent with the payment.

UK distribution scheme

Under the terms of the ‘Directors’ Rights Agreement’ Producers make a fixed sum, annual payment to Directors UK. This is to be used to compensate for rights that are assigned to producers under individual contract and is distributed to individual directors according to a scheme devised and administered by Directors UK.

Producers are legally required to supply Directors UK with information on which to base the Distribution Scheme. This includes details of all secondary exploitation of qualifying works.

1. Objectives of the Scheme

Directors UK is committed to operating a scheme that:

  • is fair and fully reflects the commercial success of a work and the individual director’s creative input.
  • is approved and endorsed by all interested parties including, but not limited to, agents and directors’ unions.
  • compensates all directors for secondary uses of their work.
  • can be adapted and amended to reflect changes in the way works are used and exploited.

Points will be allocated for each element (A, B & C) as listed in Appendix 1.

2. Calculation of payments

Payment takes account of:

  • the type of work (“A” )
  • the length of the work (“B”)
  • the nature of the secondary exploitation (“C”)

The amount due for each use of a work is calculated according to the following formula:

A x B x C x value per point

The monetary value per point will vary from year to year and will be fixed annually on the basis of:

Amount available for distribution ÷ Total number of points allocated.

3. Qualification

Payments apply to all Works for which the director is engaged under a freelance contract and the period of his/her engagement commences after 1st July 2001.

To receive a payment under the scheme the Director must be a member of Directors UK and have signed the ‘Directors UK Collection Agreement for Television Productions’.

A list of directors eligible for payment, but not registered with the organisation, is distributed to all Directors UK members receiving payment. This list can also be found here.

4. Interpretation

Distribution is based on information supplied by producers.

In cases where two or more directors are listed as having directed a work, payment due for that work is divided equally between the directors concerned unless an individual director is able to supply written documentation confirming that he/she was engaged as the principal director.

Where no director is listed in information supplied by producers and where Directors UK is unsuccessful in identifying the director, no payment will be due for the work unless a member is able to supply written documentation confirming that he/she was engaged as principal director of the work.

5. Distribution of Payments and Supplementary Distribution

Initial distribution of payments will be no later than 7 months after the end of the reporting year.

Not less than 18 months after an initial distribution and not more than 24 months after the end of a reporting year, a supplementary distribution will take place. Any money not allocated, and any money allocated to a director who has not registered with Directors UK, will be distributed in the form of a supplementary payment to all members who received payment in that distribution. Payments will be proportionate to the original payment.

e.g. Payments for the reporting year 1 July 2014 to 30 June 2015:

  • Initial distribution - December 2015
  • Supplementary Payment - July 2017

6. Deductions

All payments issued by Directors UK will be subject to deduction of a management charge levied by the organisation at a level determined by the Board of Directors of Directors UK and in consultation with the Distribution Committee.

Deductions for VAT will be as advised by H M Customs & Excise.

7. Management of the Scheme

The Board of Directors of Directors UK appoints a Distribution Committee to oversee the administration of the Scheme. This Committee consists of members of Directors UK of whom not less than 2 are members of the Board. The composition of the committee will, as far as possible, reflect the range of genres in which Directors UK members work.

The Board of Directors UK will, in addition, appoint a member of the Board to Chair the Committee and be responsible for reporting back to the Board.

The Distribution Committee will meet not less than four times per year. The Committee is responsible for:

i. Reviewing the Distribution Scheme on an annual basis and making recommendation to the Board of Directors UK as deemed necessary

ii. Dealing with all general matters relating to the distribution of the scheme.

iii. Making recommendation to the Board in respect of any works, or secondary use of works, which fall outside the general categorisation used in Appendix 1

8. Disputes

Any matter raised by a member of the organisation concerning the Distribution Scheme will be referred by the Board of Directors UK to the Distribution Committee for comment and recommendation. If the matter cannot be resolved with the member concerned it will be referred to the Board of Directors. Any decision reached by the Board will be final.

In the case of a dispute existing between two members of Directors UK they will, in the first instance, be advised to attempt to resolve the matter amicably themselves. The matter will only be referred to the Distribution Committee when it can be shown that this attempt at reconciliation has taken place and failed.

9. Notification Sheet

Under the terms of Clause 7 of the ‘Collection Agreement for Television Production’ the Directors UK member is required to complete a Notification Sheet. The member may nominate, in writing, an agent to complete notification sheets on his or her behalf. Directors UK cannot be held responsible for any failure to issue payment in respect of a work for which a Notification Sheet has not been received.

10. Issuing of payments

Payment for a work is issued to the bank account as notified by the member in writing.

Subsequent payments for the work will continue to be paid to that bank account unless written instruction to the contrary is received from the director concerned.

11. Indemnity

Directors UK cannot be held responsible for non- payment in respect of works not notified by either the member or the producer.

12. Modifications to the Scheme

The Distribution Committee will undertake an annual review of the Distribution Scheme. Directors UK Members are invited to submit written comments for consideration by the Committee. The Distribution Committee will make recommendation to the Board who are ultimately responsible for approving and implementing any modifications to the Scheme.

To read the appendix, which includes information about the distribution of ERA payments, please download the forms below.

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