Western Australian Industrial Relations Commission

Claim for acting royalties dismissed as applicant not employee

The Commission has dismissed a claim for denied contractual benefits, which sought the payment of royalties related to a piece of acting the applicant did for the respondent. The Commission found that there was no employment relationship between the parties.

The applicant said he did a television commercial for the respondent in 2014, which was played on television from 2014 to 2019. The applicant received royalties in the years up to 2017 but said he had not been paid royalties for the years 2018 and 2019.

The applicant asserted that he was an employee of the respondent and that his entitlement to royalties may be enforced as an incident of his employment contract. While he was not able to produce a written employment contract, the applicant said the Commission could infer that he was employed based on the evidence.

Commissioner Matthews found that there was no document or letter passed between the parties of a contractual nature that suggested employment, nor was there any evidence that the applicant was controlled by the respondent in the relevant way.

The claim was dismissed.

The decision can be read here.

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