British Outpost VFX Improves Overtime Pay in Unusual Move

The U.K.'s Outpost VFX has opted to introduce an overtime pay policy for staff, in a move that counts as generous in the country's vfx industry.

PAYE staff in the U.K. will now receive one-and-a-half-times pay on all weekday hours beyond 40 hours, as well as all weekend work (“PAYE” denotes employees, as opposed to self-employed contractors). The policy will apply to artists from junior to lead level and production staff from assistants to managers.

The idea is that staff in the company's Bournemouth headquarters will now enjoy the same terms as their colleagues in Outpost's Montreal and L.A. studios. Law in Canada and the U.S. protects overtime pay, but in the U.K. it does not.

The company will also introduce a separate policy that ensures remuneration for overtime hours for producers and supervisors. In addition, it will formalize its Indian overtime commitments before opening its new Mumbai facility.

Outpost COO Gez Hixson said in a statement: “It's abundantly clear that overtime laws in the U.K. do not protect visual effects workers or anyone in the creative sector, whereas in other regions there are clear regulations in place. In addition, the vfx sector has, in our view, purveyed a culture built on extra hours for no extra pay.” Hixson expressed hope that “other companies join us in introducing similar changes to support their workforce.”

The news was welcomed by the Animation & Visual Effects Union, a branch of U.K. media and entertainment union BECTU, which tweeted: “We at the AVU salute you!”

Outpost's U.K. employees are currently being consulted on these changes, which will come into effect on September 1.

The company's credits include TNT's The Alienist: Angel of Darkness, HBO's Watchmen, FX on Hulu's Devs (image at top), and Universal's News of the World, for which it was nominated for a VES Award.