Protect Child Performers’ Income

ISSUE: In the late 1990s, the provincial government implemented a regulation that requires producers to save a portion of child performers’ earnings to the Public Guardian and Trustee (PGT). Since that time, parents and guardians across BC have lost confidence in the PGT and share concerns regarding the high fees that are charged, the lack of transparency and issues with communications.

PLAN: UBCP/ACTRA is calling on the provincial government to amend the Employment Standards Regulation so that child performers and their guardians can have their income protected by ACTRA PRS Minors’ Trust, which has been protecting child performers’ earnings in the rest of Canada since 1999.

TAKE ACTION: Write a letter to the Minister of Labour showing your support of UBCP/ACTRA’s call to allow child performers to better protect their earnings by keeping them with ACTRA PRS’ Minors’ Trust

 

The BC Public Guardian and Trustee In the late 1990s, the provincial government implemented a regulation that requires producers to save a portion of child performers’ earnings to the Public Guardian and Trustee (PGT). The PGT is an organization that protects the interests of British Columbians who lack legal capacity to protect their own interests. This includes protecting the legal and financial interests of children under the age of 19 years, adults who require assistance in decision making, and deceased and missing persons. The PGT charges an income commission of 3.94% on each deposit a producer makes on a child performer’s behalf into their trust, and a further 3.94% on any income earned on it. An additional 0.74% is charged per year – and compounded monthly – on the total value of all the child performer’s assets. This can often mean that a child performer’s account balance with the PGT is less than what was contributed over the life of their career. The ACTRA PRS Minors’ Trust By contrast, the ACTRA PRS Minors’ Trust charges 2.26% of income commission, and yields a much better return than the PGT. The Minors’ Trust is also more transparent and listens to child performers and their guardians. That’s because PRS was created by ACTRA and mandated to specifically to protect child performers’ earnings.

  BC PGT ACTRA PRS Minors’ Trust
Fees on Contributions 3.94% 2.26%
Fees on Income Earned 3.94% 0%
Fees on Gross Assets 0.74% per year 0%
Return 1.97% 4.35%

We want child performers to enjoy the benefits of the ACTRA PRS Minors’ Trust.

The PRS provides:

  • Better financial management – to protect our minor members’ earnings
  • Better communication – ACTRA PRS staff respond to questions and work to resolve issues brought forward by members
  • Compliance – Our union reps have direct communication with the ACTRA PRS Minors’ Trust and access to all information needed to investigate discrepancies and ensure producers are remitting child performers’ earnings in accordance with the law.

Outside of BC any child performers’ earnings are held with the ACTRA PRS Minors’ Trust. In BC any child performer earnings must go to the PGT, meaning that any child performers’ working in BC will have to have more than one trust account.

UBCP/ACTRA recently conducted a survey to child performers and their guardians.

Key findings:

  • More than three quarters (78.85%) of survey participants are unsatisfied or very unsatisfied with the financial management of their or their child’s PGT account, citing high fees as their primary concern
  • No one who has experienced both trust administrators would choose to keep their or their children’s money with the PGT

For more information, visit our Working with Minors page.