By Malco Oliveros
AGREEMENTS WITH THE EMPLOYEES
Nowadays most companies work with freelance employees (performers, musicians, technicians etc.). In some cases these employees live in a different city, and even in a different country from the company. Based on those circumstances, clear agreements must be made between the company and the employees about the conditions of their engagement, including the duration of the tour and the deadlines relating to the different stages of the process that planning of an international tour usually demands: first approach or enquiry, negotiations, conclusion, signing of the agreement. Clear rules must be established regarding: wages (value of travel and show day or weekly agreements?), rate and method of calculation of per diems, rules concerning the accommodation (hotel category, rooms per person, private accommodation?).
A specification of deadlines is recommended. How long before a given trip must the agreement between the company and the artist/technician be confirmed? Can it be postponed? What are the consequences if a trip is cancelled after the agreement has been signed?
Rules for the organisation of the journey. Does the company decide the details of the trip on its own or in cooperation with the employee? Is the employee permitted to organise the transportation him/herself or to suggest options? Is the employee allowed to extend the trip for private purposes?
It is a good idea to inform the employee of the touring company about a possible trip (its duration, expected departure and return dates etc.) as soon as the touring project has reached a level of reality, so that the person can take that into account when planning his/her own activities.
See Employees_Touring Contract for an example of how to make an agreement between ta company and an employee.
Example Wages & Per Diems form
In plenty of time before departure, all members of the touring company should receive a comprehensive tour schedule including:
– Departure and arrival dates
– Meeting point for departure in both directions
– Names of, and information about the promoting organisations during the tour
– Local contact persons during the tour
– Hotels (addresses)
– Detailed day-by-day working schedule (technical setting, rehearsals, shows, meetings…)
– Company contact person (tour coordinator?)
VISAS AND PASSPORTS
The company must investigate the specific circumstances and demands that apply in the specific countries to be visited, with particular focus on the implications of possibly having employees with non-European nationality/passports, including:
– Possible need to apply for a visa
– Restrictions regarding introduction of working materials/set
– Need to deal with temporary import of working materials/set, or necessity for having an ATA carnet or the like
Pro forma Invoice. Countries that are not involved in the ATA carnet agreement will usually require the issue of a pro forma invoice, which is a relatively simple document made by the company itself, in which every element contained in the freight is listed, including its value and weight.
Be aware of the fact, that when it comes to the ATA carnet, pro forma invoice, or similar document for temporary import/export procedures, you should not include any material that will be ‘consumed’ during the visit, such as materials, which are used in the performance that cannot be re-used and which you discard after use.
It is a good idea to get acquainted with the tax rules in the country that you intend to visit. Each country, even within the EU, has its own policy when it comes to taxes (including artist taxes that are applicable in some countries), VAT etc. Make sure that it is agreed who will be in charge of handling those taxes.
Be aware of the fact, that the bureaucratic procedures in some countries are so complex that you need the intermediation of a local agent. In some cases this is even demanded by law.