SIGN working on major new research project looking at overwork in the TV industries

SIGN is collaborating on a major academic research project which will investigate working hours in the television industry. The Time Project will collect data about the number of hours that TV workers actually do and use this information to inform equality, diversity and inclusivity policies across the industry.

Stories about the impact of overwork in television production are common, but to date there has been no long-term study into working hours to provide an understanding about who in the TV industry carries the burden of overwork.

The Time Project has been developed by Share My Telly Job and Rowan Aust (University of Huddersfield. Share My Telly Job (SMTJ) is an organisation which promotes practical solutions in the TV industry through job-sharing as a way to retain talent and provide a fairer workplace for freelancers.  

SIGN’s research lead, Dr Jon Swords (University of York) will work in partnership SMTJ to develop a pilot before a year-long version is launched in the Autumn.  

The project is also supported by Bectu who will roll out the study to their members and work closely with SMTJ and SIGN to collect essential data. The Time Project will launch with a pilot in September with participants being asked to upload their working hours via timesheets. The longer term aim is to release an app in which workers will be able to submit anonymised data to the study.

Data collected through this project will enable researchers to build an accurate picture of the way freelancers work in television, establishing patterns of behaviour and overwork which could have major impacts on their health and wellbeing. 

As an organisation, SIGN values the individual voices of the screen industries, and aims to put diversity and inclusion at the centre of the work we undertake. Read more about SIGN’s research.