Findings from The Time Project published today reveal the toll of excessive working hours on the UK TV and Film Industry. Supported by the Screen Industries Growth Network (SIGN), The Time Project, a web based app created by SMTJ, collected data on the working hours of TV production professionals to highlight patterns of overwork in the industry. The Time Project report aims to understand which groups of people face the greatest burden of work in the UK TV industry and provides recommendations to address the problems highlighted.
Research reveals that UK TV and Film workers who took part worked an extra 14 hours more per week than the national average, the equivalent of an extra two days per week. Average daily working hours in TV and Film are 10 hours per day, versus the national average of 7.2. Researchers saw a wide variation of hours logged with many workers putting in 15-23 hours per day. The longest working day recorded was 23.8 hours. Workers in Craft and Tech roles are putting in the longest hours with Hair and Makeup artists doing an average of 11.8 hours a day. The average daily break was 30 minutes but 20% of workers reported not getting any breaks at all.
SMTJ Founder, Louise Patel, says “The Film and TV Charity’s Looking Glass Report in 2020 clearly stated that the long hours culture was having the biggest impact on the mental health of people working in the industry and that we had reached a crisis point. We wanted to drill down deeper and look at exactly why the working culture in Film and TV was causing so many of its workers to break. We created The Time Project as a way to measure working hours and understand them as the conduit to change.”
Using The Time Project app, workers can anonymously log their working hours and rates and compare these to others working in their role, department or genre. The data is then analysed through three angles: skills, diversity and wellbeing.
The Time Project report shows the impact of these working hours on diversity. Dr Jon Swords, Research Fellow at SIGN, says, “Working 10-hour days is not normal outside of TV. And it acts as a barrier to entry and progression for people with other restrictions on their time. This affects carers, parents, those who need time to look after their own mental and physical health, or want a life outside of work.”