Working Safely During Covid-19 – What does it mean for the Production Office

In March the Covid-19 pandemic hit drama productions hard with most being paused almost overnight. The unprecedented crisis made the future seriously worrying for the screen industries and the economy. UK Film and high-end TV (HETV) spending went up by 16% in 2019, contributing £3.6 billion to the economy.

This week the British Film Commission (BFC) launched the Working Safely During Covid-19 in Film and High-end TV Drama Production Guidelines, to provide a road map back into production. Their Task Force was made up of studio and independent production representatives, health and safety experts, Unions such as BECTU, membership bodies like PACT and film agencies including the BFI, all working together to develop a comprehensive framework to enable film and HETV shows of all sizes to get back to work.

The group, chaired by Warner Brothers’ Kevin Trehy, trawled through a huge range of existing international protocols and other proposals developed in the UK and abroad. They tested them to identify which would be effective and deliverable in the British context and be flexible enough to update as the Covid-19 situation changes.

The final report is made up of thirty sections. Some are general measures which include Covid-19 safety training, twice daily crew temperature checks, limiting face-to-face meetings and appointing a dedicated supervisor to be responsible for ensuring that safety measures are implemented. Others provide guidance for departments such as the production office and accounting where many of Sargent-Disc’s clients have responsibilities. Two of the five specific recommendations for this department are:

‘C. Where possible, consider remote working for production office and accounts personnel’


‘D. Adopt paperless systems where possible, for example, digital signatures, POs, payslips, contracts and timesheets as well as online banking and contactless payments.’

Sargent-Disc is here to help implement these safety measures and get your production back up and running quickly. Our tried and tested Digital Production Office® suite of applications – CrewStart™ onboarding, contracts and timesheets, Payroll, Payslips, Digital Purchase Order and the Production Card are all available 24/7, wherever the team or executives are working – on desktop, laptop, tablet or mobile. The applications support your team to work to the guidelines securely and easily – whilst increasing efficiency, saving time, reducing carbon on production and above all staying safe.

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