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Pact/WGGB notice on WGA jurisdiction

As previously advised, the Writers’ Guild of Great Britain (WGGB) have issued guidance and particularly FAQs for their members on the Writers’ Guild of America (WGA) strike action.

Pact and WGGB have been liaising with each other over the engagement of writers on productions by our respective members in the UK. The essential concern of the WGGB is that work should not take place in the UK and/or by UK producers that would have taken place in the WGA jurisdiction but for the WGA strike (so called “struck work”). Pact advises members that when explaining the structuring and nature of their production to agents or others that they take into consideration this essential concern.

When is work subject to the WGA’s jurisdiction?

The WGA Agreement applies where a signatory company seeks to engage a writer within the WGA jurisdiction to perform covered services or the signatory company purchases a script from a writer and the deal is within WGA jurisdiction.

A “signatory company” is any company signed to the 2020 WGA Minimum Basic Agreement (MBA).

WGA jurisdiction” occurs where: (i) a writer’s permanent residence is in the US and their deal is done there; (ii) a US resident writer is relocated abroad by a signatory company to work; or (iii) a writer is rendering writing services in the US. Note: WGA may also claim jurisdiction in certain limited situations if the first writer on a episode/feature film has been contracted under WGA terms (with writing steps remaining on that episode/feature film) or if the project was begun in the US and has been transferred from the US to the UK during the strike. Pact’s interpretation of these situations may differ so if this is your scenario please do contact Pact as it may require further discussion with the WGGB.

Covered services” include writing literary material such as formats, stories, teleplays. Note: the WGA strike rules prohibit certain other services. See WGA Strike Rules here.

– UK production companies or the subsidiaries of streamers /studios which are part of a larger US streamer/studio group are not “struck” companies.

– UK work undertaken under Pact/WGGB terms is unaffected by the strike as it is clearly UK jurisdiction.

– UK producers may still pitch new work to the UK subsidiaries of US studios/streamers who are on the struck list provided that the writer on the project is not in the WGA jurisdiction.

– However, in certain limited situations as set above, the WGA may assert that some of the UK producers / subsidiaries work may still constitute struck work.

– WGGB advises that its members should not pitch to any company that is “struck”.

If there is a particular production that you wish Pact to liaise with the WGGB over, please contact Max Rumney: max@pact.co.uk. It would be helpful to list for Pact’s reference: the production company name and jurisdiction where incorporated; the nature of the engagement of the writer (i.e. Pact/WGGB); the name of the programme and where it is filming; and the commissioning entities.

  • Max Rumney Deputy CEO, Director of Business Affairs
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