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Employers urged to give staff time off to appear on reality TV shows

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UK Businesses are being urged to give employees up to four weeks of additional unpaid leave per year to appear on reality TV shows.

Industry bodies are calling for the change in employment law in a bid to tackle the continued decline in wages in relation to the cost of living.

It is hoped that allowing staff to appear on one of the thousands of reality tv shows which are broadcast each week, could help them earn up to an extra £10,000 per year, at no cost to their employers. 

A ‘minor celebrity’ tax code will be introduced to help the new army of part-time z-listers maximise the extra income earned from briefly appearing on page 22 of OK Magazine or opening a branch of Cash Converters.


HMRC says the new tax code will take into account factors such as, Instagram following and whether a contestant’s show featured on BBC1, Channel 5 or ITV4, to calculate their tax bill on earnings tapered over a three year period. 

Sir Michael Fishgrove-Smyth of the CBI announced the plan at a gala dinner held at the Mansion House in The City of London and attended by the Lord Mayor and industry leaders. 

Sir Michael stressed that CEOs should not be concerned about the impact of having staff out of the workplace for prolonged periods, noting that the type of employee that is likely to apply for reality tv is unlikely to provide much value to the business in the first place. 

The chairman of the Reality TV and Docusoap Producers Union ( RTDPU ) also welcomed the proposal and is quoted as saying “great, more meat for the sausage factory” before quickly writing it down as a future show title. 


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