206/3 PARIS, 10 June 1997 Original: French
WORLD CONGRESS ON THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE RECOMMENDATION CONCERNING THE STATUS OF THE ARTIST organized by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization in co-operation with the French Ministry of Culture and the French National Commission for UNESCO and with the collaboration of the Getty Conservation Institute
16-20 June 1997 - UNESCO House, 7 place de Fontenoy, 75007 Paris WORKING DOCUMENT FOR COMMISSION B
AUTHORS, ARTISTS AND PERFORMERS AND THE ECONOMIC SITUATION AT THE END OF TIIE TWENTIETH CENTURY
This document has been drawn up on the basis of the reports on the .questionnaires sent out by: (i) (ii) UNESCO to it Member States; the International Federation of Actors; c
(iii) the International Federation of Musicians; (iv) the International Dance Council; and a study preparedby International PEN on issuesrelating to -theCongress.
This study is based on: the replies of 40 Member States to UNESCO’s questionnaire on social rights, taxation and copyrights; the replies of 50 national unions of the International Federation of Musicians to the questionnaire on the status of music performers in 1997; and the replies to the questionnaire sent out by the International Federation of Actors to 55 of its members in 44 countries on the status of the performer in 1997. Synoptic reports on the questionnaires sent out by UNESCO, the International Federation of Musicians and the International Federation of Actors have appeared as separate documents.
The topics to be addressed by this Commission relate to the social, fiscal and 1. professional status of authors, artists and performers. Social security schemesdiffer according to whether the artists are self-employed (freelance) or salaried workers. Generally, artists who are the authors of literary, dramatic, musical, choreographic, audiovisual, photographic and cinematographic works have self-employed status, while performers are salaried. This distinction was very marked 15 years ago but is becoming blurred as a result of changes in artists’ professional lives. Health is one of the major issues for several categories of artists, particularly dancers,but also musicians and visual arts practitioners.
Remuneration and standard of living
2. The remuneration of performers compared to the averagewage varies from country to country. Sometimes it is higher, as in Spain, Finland, Israel, Peru and Portugal, but it is usually lower, notably in Argentina, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Japan, Norway, New Zealand, Netherlands, Poland and the Czech Republic. 3. Performers generally receive the union minimum, even from employers who are not directly covered by a collective agreement. Collective agreementstherefore have a general regulating role, including with respect to employers not legally bound by them. Collective agreementsnegotiated by the unions do not yet exist in every country. 4.
The remuneration of performers is generally equivalent to, or less than, that of teachers.
The proportion of artists in all professional categoriesliving on remuneration well above the average is between 1 and 5 per cent. In some cases it is as high as 10 per cent, as in Finland, Israel, Japan,Norway and Sweden. 6. The great majority of performing artists (over 80 per cent) still make their living principally from live performances.However, in the United Kingdom, with its thriving record industry, 40 per cent of musicians’ incomes come from recording sessions. Generally speaking, income from the secondaryuse of recordings is still negligible, and comes mainly from neighbouring rights; remuneration for private copying is not yet a significant source of income. 7. Authors receive remuneration from copyright. More often than not the amount is negligible, compelling them to have a second occupation. Visual arts practitioners live from the sale of their work which usually goes through commercial galleries. The gallery’s commission on works sold varies between 50 and 40 per cent, depending on the artist’s reputation and the gallery’s professional status,and may be higher or lower.
Social security coverage
8. It emerges from the replies to the survey conducted by UNESCO among its Member Statesthat in most countries there is no specific social security provision for artists in different professions (except in Tunisia for performers, China, Senegaland Syria for authors, Germany, Canada,France (in some regions only), Romania and Switzerland (in some cantons)).Where it does exist, coverage is not comprehensive, and is highly inadequate, for example, in the caseof unemployment and pension benefits.
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In most countries (except Nigeria, Pakistan and Tonga), salaried artists come under the general salaried workers’ scheme.
Salaried worker status
10. The status most frequently accorded to performers is that of salaried workers: 95 per cent in Germany, 90 per cent in Croatia, 100 per cent in France, 80 per cent in the Netherlands. Undeclared work is still widespread and insufficiently penalized. 11. However, artists have always had to contend with a variable and intermittent job situation and the economic environment over the last 15 years has done little to make their position more secure.In fact, the period has to some extent witnessed an erosion of the artist’s status, with a shift away from permanently employed towards self-employed status and a consequent loss of social security benefits. As in the case of authors, therefore, freelance status is becoming the rule in some countries: 50 per cent in Argentina, 50 per cent in Spain, 60 per cent in Israel, 60 per cent in Peru, 50 per cent in Poland, 90 per cent in Portugal, 50 per cent in Sweden, 60 per cent in Norway and as much as 80 per cent in the United Kingdom. In New Zealand, as in the Republic of Korea and Canada,there is no provision for musicians to enjoy salaried status. 12. A review of the situation in the last 15 years shows that in some countries governments have persistently failed to expand or adapt their social security systemsto make allowance for the special nature of artistic professions. Eighty per cent of the artists’ unions questioned said that the number of hours worked in the profession did not enable artists to benefit from the social cover of employed persons,as the number of hours required was too high. Ten per cent of them also reported that artists in their countries were advised to seek employment in other professions. 13. Performers increasingly work freelance, under contract, and are unable to contribute individually to private pension funds. They rely on the unions to offer them pension schemes which they might be entitled to join. Some countries are only just beginning to seethe creation of unions or collective administration societies involved in introducing pension schemes flexible enough to be able to accommodatethe work of artists employed only sporadically, the different types of remuneration, occasional employment, artists with several jobs and freelance artists. 14. However, the involvement of such collective administration societies in social welfare schemes is relatively recent, and has resulted from an increase in the surn?s generated by performers’ rights, part of which cannot be sharedout on an individual basis. 15. To take a few specific examples: in Germany the collective administration society pays into a social fund; in Argentina it helps fund the mutual insurance society; in Spain it helps fund life and disability insuranceand study grants; in Japanit helps finance a pension scheme. Furthermore, few artists subscribeto individual private supplementary pension schemes. 16. In most European countries creative artists (authors) can join a social security scheme attached to the general salaried workers’ system and funded by their own contributions and those of the persons or entities (including the State, public bodies and local or regional authorities (according to the country and the case))which distribute or exploit their works. In most other countries, they can only benefit Tom salaried workers’ social security in their capacity as employees in a secondjob.
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17. Artists are never exempt from tax, except in Ireland where a very specific system is currently in force. 18. Tax reductions, for instance for professional expenses,are rare. Such reductions are to be phasedout in France. 19. The system of taxation at source is applied in many countries, notable exceptions being France,Portugal and the Czech Republic. 20. Many countries provide musicians with an allowance for the purchaseof instruments, or a compensatorytax deduction (for example, 30 per cent in Poland). 21. Various types of mechanisms for spreading taxable income over several years exist in seven EU countries and concern either all taxpayers or specific categories. In Germany, Denmark and the Netherlands employed and self-employed taxpayers can use the mechanism to spreadtaxable income over a period of three or five years.In Greece,according to available information, it appears that only sculptors and painters are entitled to this tax benefit. In France, performers can distribute the taxable income they have earned in one year over the three or five preceding years. Jn the United Kingdom, only self-employed performers may opt for this type of tax assessment. In Luxembourg, the mechanism is applicable only to income describedas ‘extraordinary’. 22. All European Union statesand some countries in other geopolitical regions provide for deductions for professional expenses.According to the country, such deductions are assessed on the basis of actual expenses andor lump sums calculated as a percentage of taxable income. For example, in Lithuania and the Netherlands salaried artists enjoy reductions of 25 per cent in the caseof singers, actors, cinematographersand dancersand 20 per cent in the caseof musicians, choir members, conductors, stage managersand film production staff. In Ireland and the United Kingdom the criteria taken into consideration to determine deductible expensesdiffer for employed and self-employed artists. For the former, professional expenses must have been incurred entirely, exclusively and necessarily in the exercise of their professional activity. As regards the income of self-employed artists, the criterion ‘necessarily’ is not a deciding factor and the assessment of deductible amountsis usually more generousthan for employed artists. 23. In Colombia, authors, composers and performers are entitled to tax deductions. In Canada,artists benefit from a deduction for certain items. In Croatia the deduction is 25 per cent. In Romania it is 50 per cent. In South Korea only visual artists are allowed a tax abatement,while in Pakistan an abatementis apparently accordedto freelances.
Other details of the tax systems of Member States
24. Artistic and intellectual works are taxed in almost all the Member Statesthat replied to UNESCO’s questionnaire. 25. In some countries, certain categories of works are not taxed books (Costa Rica, El Salvador, Mauritius, Nigeria, Norway, Panama and Tunisia), visual arhvorks (Colombia, CostaRica, Croatia, Indonesia and Togo), musical instruments (Costa Rica, Indonesia, Latvia, Mauritius, Panama and Romania) and live performances (Costa Rica, Finland, Latvia, Mauritius and Russian Federation).
CLT/CONF.206/3 - page 4 26. In most countries a tax (VAT) is levied on theatre, cinema, concert, museum and other tickets. In some countries (Germany, Canada, China, Costa Rica, France, Ghana, Laos, Mauritius, Republic of Korea and Senegal(in certain cases),Austria and the Czech Republic (for the cinema only)), these indirect taxes are redistributed to artists’ associations and used to fund cultural projects. 27. The Commission may wish to make a recommendation on the need to fund living national artistic creation by means of an indirect tax on tickets to performances, especially foreign ones. Such a tax might also be applicable to the media. .
28. The need to protect artists’ health is particularly important given the overall increasein work-related health hazards. This is the result of changes in the equipment used (sound systems, for example), the increasein job insecurity and in the number of hours worked (with both physical and psychological consequences), and the over-‘liberal’ attitude of a growing number of employers who do not comply fully with safety regulations.
29. Although most countries have adopted health and safety legislation, safety in artists’ places of work has not improved as a result. In most countries, legislation is mainly concerned with workers in factories and workshops, but says nothing about the specific safety requirements that should apply in artists’ placesof work. 30. The law therefore seldom addresses the special situation of artists, except in Azerbaijan, Belarus, France, Peru and Poland.
31. Provisions that take account of the special nature of artists’ work are to be found in collective agreementsnegotiated by the unions. There are such agreements, for instance, in Azerbaijan, Belarus, Finland, Israel, Netherlands, Czech Republic, United Kingdom and Sweden, but apparently none in Argentina, Germany, Japan, Norway, New Zealand, Peru, Spain or Switzerland.
Extent of protection c
Possible measuresinclude the following: (a) (b) (c) (d) A national consultative committee responsible for preparing reforms and giving an advisory opinion at national level; A health and safety code; Regular inspections at placesof work; Compulsory presenceof a specialist doctor in certain places or establishments.
The first three measuresexist in most cases,but of coursewith very uneven results. The fourth measure seemsto be provided for by law only in the Netherlands.
CLT/CONF.206/3 - page 5 33. According to sever-a1 unions, despite legislative measures taken by governments and collective framework agreementslaying down strict health and safety conditions, employers are still reluctant to comply with safety requirements and even less inclined to adopt health and safety measures. 34. Fifty per cent of artists’ unions questioned reported both the lack of progress in employers’ attitudes to health and safety and their unwillingness to comply with safety requirements, whereas the other 50 per cent said that employers were more inclined to adopt safety measures. This increasing concern with safety was the result of stricter legal requirementsas regardshealth and safety (Norway, Netherlands,United Kingdom). 35. The unions in half the countries questioned had observed an increase in work-related hazards,while 30 per cent had seenno change. 36. There are, however, some areas of agreement, notably as regards the causesof such risks. Most artists’ unions agree that the main cause of accidents is stress, combined with tighter budgets and more time pressure,while others observed that the growing reliance on technology and equipment should also be seenas a causeof the deterioration in artists’ health. 37. Greater reliance on technology in artistic performances has brought about significant changesin working relations in theatrical, dance and musical productions and needs to be taken more into account. Astronomic quantities of highly detailed computer-assistedscenery, lighting, sound equipment and special effects are now commonplace in major commercial stageproductions. 38. The Commission may wish to make a recommendation to the plenary to halt the trend towards a deterioration in artists’ health, particularly in view of the more aggressive technological environment with which they are confronted?