Updated UK overtime policy in line with DNEG’s North American operations

DNEG, a leading visual effects (VFX) and animation studio for the creation of feature film, television and multiplatform content, announced that the company will pay enhanced overtime to its London employees in a move that is a departure from industry norms in the UK.

Beginning October 2021, DNEG will pay overtime at 1.5x rate to all UK staff in non-management positions for all incremental time that they are asked to work beyond the standard 40-hour week. This move brings DNEG’s UK overtime policy in line with its studios in North America and applies across its film and episodic visual effects, DNEG Animation and ReDefine operations, including its artist, production, technology and support teams. DNEG’s previous overtime policy in the UK mirrored the local industry norm of compensating employees for overtime with paid time off after completion of a project.

Chris Burn, General Manager for DNEG’s London studio, said, “I’m immensely proud that DNEG is the first of the big visual effects studios to offer paid overtime to our teams in the UK. As a global leader in the VFX and animation industries and the UK’s largest employer in the sector with approximately 700 staff in our London office, DNEG is constantly evaluating ways to recognise the dedication and loyalty of our teams. The last 18 months have been challenging for all of us, and I am delighted that we are now in a position to make this commitment to our UK employees as we move into a very busy period for the London studio. This is a fair decision for our employees and the right thing to do for the Creative Industries in the UK. Our team in London has a key long-term role in leading DNEG’s visual effects and animation work on feature films such as The Matrix Resurrections, Ron’s Gone Wrong and upcoming DC movies The Flash and Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom.”

President, DNEG Animation Tom Jacomb, who is based in London, added, “DNEG is challenging UK industry norms and conventions by providing overtime for any extra hours that we ask our crews to work. Our supervisory and production teams do what they can to avoid the need for overtime, but sometimes it is an inevitable consequence of the work that we do and the deadlines we meet. While DNEG has always offered our UK crews ‘time off in lieu’ for extra hours worked, I am so very pleased that we are now leading the way and compensating our artists, production and support staff with a properly structured overtime policy that goes a long way to acknowledging their immense contributions.”

DNEG recently announced that Novator Capital Advisers, LLP (Novator) has invested $250 million in subsidiaries of Prime Focus Limited, the parent company of DNEG. The Novator investment has allowed DNEG Chairman and CEO Namit Malhotra to position the company for future growth.

DNEG Chairman and CEO Namit Malhotra said, “Since taking the reins as CEO of DNEG, my driving purpose has been to build a world-class, industry-leading organisation with a global network of integrated studios, and to institute best practices across all areas of our business, from visual effects, to animation, to new areas such as IP and content creation, and gaming. This proactive initiative to offer enhanced overtime to our London artists and support teams brings the UK studio in line with our locations in North America. We’re not doing this because we have to. We’re doing this to ensure our London teams are compensated fairly for their work. This is another example of how DNEG is leading from the front, creating long-term sustainability in our industry and rewarding the valued commitment of our crews. Over the last few years we have been transforming the way we work, bringing in some of the best people in our industry and winning many awards along the way; now it is time to come back to where it all started for DNEG and show our ongoing commitment to the London team.”

DNEG’s VFX work has won six (including five of the last seven) Academy Awards® for Best Visual Effects, for Tenet (2021), First Man (2019), Blade Runner 2049 (2018), Ex Machina (2016), Interstellar (2015), and Inception (2011); six BAFTA Awards (10 Nominations); 11 Visual Effects Society (VES) Awards (28 Nominations); and 2 Primetime EMMY® Awards (Four Nominations).

Tanya Combrinck
Author: Tanya Combrinck

Tanya is a writer covering art, design, and visual effects. She has 15 years of experience as a magazine journalist and has written for publications including 3D World, 3D Artist, Computer Arts, net magazine, and Creative Bloq.