1. Beyond the statutory requirements, BFMA agents consider it their responsibility, in so far as is practical, to safeguard the health and wellbeing of the models they represent
2. Members often develop close relationships with models throughout their careers and are able to offer support across a wide-range of personal issues. The needs of the individual are of paramount importance. In particular:
Areas of Support:
Matters relating to Health & Well-being are referred to in BFMA agents’ Terms & Conditions.
For a successful model, maintaining a healthy, balanced diet is essential. To enable bookers actively to support their models, members are provided with advice on nutrition, health and fitness.
The BFMA and the British Fashion Council, officially endorse the Be Well Collective, a not-for-profit organisation, that aims to support the mental and nutritional wellbeing of models in the fashion industry. Based in London and founded in 2016 by model and associate registered nutritionist, Sarah Ann Macklin.
The Be Well Collective has established a panel of health experts to educate models about the link between nutrition and physical and mental health.
In 2018, the Be Well Collective brought together major modelling agencies and the models they represent to teach them the tremendous benefits of good nutrition. Held during London’s Fashion Week, a particularly demanding time, when models are most susceptible to stress, anxiety and illness, it was the first time a qualified nutritionist had taken on a major educational role at the heart of the fashion industry, with the aim of promoting large-scale change
Inspired to bring the science of nutrition to the fashion industry, Macklin embarked on a 2year HND in Human Nutrition at Oxford College, and a further 3year Human Nutrition Degree at London Metropolitan University where she achieved a first-class honours BSc in Human Nutrition.
Macklin is a Registered Associate Nutritionist recognised by the Association for Nutrition, and she practises at London’s renowned ROC Harley Street Clinic.
Members will not promote any model for work where, in the judgment of the agent, the impact will be to the model’s detriment.
BFMA members must ensure that at least one member of staff is trained to recognise possible symptoms of eating disorders and will take appropriate action, seeking professional advice where necessary. BFMA members consult withÂ BEAT (Beating Eating Disorders on a regular basis for education & training purposes in this field.
Substance abuse is unacceptable and, where identified can lead to a model being required to leave his or her agency. Alcohol, however, is widely used in society and there is no reason it cannot be consumed in moderation. Nonetheless, it is recommended that the Department of Health unit guidelines be followed. Alcohol can lead to tiredness because it is a sedative, not a stimulant. It is also a diuretic which increases urine production – not good in a model’s busy schedule.
A tired model is not a healthy model and will neither perform or look his or her best. It can damage your career.
If a model has concerns about any of these issues, below are some of the bodies that can be turned to for advice and support.
Frank: Confidential advice and referral to local services: www.talktofrank.com
Families Anonymous: Self-help for families and friends of people with drug-related problems: www.famonon.org.uk
Drinkline. Confidential information and advice on alcohol matters: 0800 917 8282
Alcohol Concern: www.alcoholconcern.org.uk
There are many other help organisations including www.nhsdirect.co.uk
Whatever a modelâ€™s concerns, talk to your booker who will be understanding and sympathetic and you will be offered the best advice. Your booker is, however,Â not formally trainedin dealing with drug and alcohol related issues.
Agent’s obligations with regard to payment of model fees and related matters can be found in The Conduct of Employment Agencies and Employment Business Regulations 2003 and also in Clause 6 of the Models’ Representation Agreement.
With regard to costs chargeable to the model, the obligations and responsibility of both agent and model are to be found in Clause 7 of the Models’ Representation Agreement.
Agents are encouraged to develop relationships with Independent Financial Advisors who are able to offer impartial advice across a range of financial planning needs including pensions, insurance, mortgages etc.
The BFMA works in accordance with current legislation regarding the employment of persons under compulsory school age. This includes the provision of chaperones and reduced working hours. All minors have to be licensed to undertake any type of work and obtain school permission if during school hours. In particular all BFMA members have voluntarily undertaken, due to the inherent extra pressures and long hours involved, not to present any models under the age of 16 for shows taking place during London Fashion Week each year. No models under the age of 16 are employed to promote age inappropriate clothing (including, but not limited to catwalks, advertising, lookbooks, and e-commerce).
All members require the written consent of a parent or guardian in order to represent a model below school leaving age. BFMA members recognise that education is a priority and will not permit it to be disrupted by the development of a career in modelling.
DBS checks (previously CRB checks)
The Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) helps employers make safer recruitment decisions and prevent unsuitable people from working with vulnerable groups, including children. (It replaces the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) and Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA). Model agency bookers who have dealings with under age models on a regular basis, typically chaperones and New Faces bookers are required to have had a DBS check
The BFMA insists that all members have a reporting policy that ensures any model can report any untoward incident in the absolute knowledge that it will be dealt with, in confidence and without any damage to that model’s career. Should the model wish to bypass his or her agent, it is also possible to report directly to the BFC, in confidence.
It is the agents’ duty to manage each model’s career so as to achieve maximum potential.
Agents income is derived solely on work obtained for their models. A child agency, which finds acting as well as modelling work, may charge a fee for inclusion in a directory or website.
BFMA members negotiate work for their models under the BFMA Terms & Conditions of booking.
All bookings must be confirmed in writing by the client who, prior to the commencement of the job, must sign the appropriate BFMA Booking Confirmation Form which stipulates agreed fees and usage. Copies of all contracts must be made available to models.
The BFMA is committed to ensuring Equality of Opportunity for all its members, staff and models.
The BFMA is committed to ensuring that models work in a healthy & safe environment under good working conditions, including hours of work, rest periods, sustenance, transport (where appropriate) and free from any harassment or discrimination.
A special ‘Models’ Welfare Document’, developed in consultation with the British Fashion Council, is enclosed with show packs that are mailed to designers and show producers. This requires their co-operation in ensuring that models’ welfare is safeguarded during London Fashion Week.
It is a requirement of BFMA agents’ Terms & Conditions that all clients provide adequate insurance to safeguard the Health & Safety of the model as if he/she were an employee of the client. Notwithstanding this, the client shall not impose upon the model any action or activity which is either dangerous or demeaning to the model.
Role of the BFC in the BFMA
- Establish independent oversight council which will also take on the role as an independent whistleblower
- Continue to manage funds to ensure they are used to promote the interests of models
- Encourage dialogue between models, agencies and other industry parties
- Establish a code of best practice adhered to by both agencies and industry in the interests of models
- Host a secretariat for BFMA
Code of Best Practice for both Agencies and Industry
The BFC calls on patrons and industry partners to sign-up to a Code of Best Practice which aims to set an agreed industry standard to be used as a benchmark for both models and any party employing models or those employing casting directors to employ models on their behalf.
Responsibility of clients
The BFC together with the BFMA has expectations of any client as an organisation that employs or hires models:
To agree to act ethically, reasonably and with the same due care and respect afforded to any organisational employee. This includes but is not limited to
Being mindful and ensuring where possible the health and well-being of the employed model (whatever the fee) during the employed task
To ensure that there are no injurious practices in relation to a model’s health e.g. excessive exposure (including frequency) to flash photography, over long or late days etc
Ensuring that no illegal are unethical practices are undertaken during the working day
That each casting and employed engagement provides a clear route for models to report, in confidence, any incidents of harassment or abuse
That any models under the age of 16 are required a chaperone
That in the case of minors (under the age of 18), all work and working conditions are age-appropriate
No models under the age of 16 are employed to promote age-inappropriate clothing (including, but not limited to catwalks, advertising, lookbooks, e-commerce)
Any drastic change of image is pre-agreed by the agency, ensuring authority and clear consent
Any nudity is pre-agreed by the agency, ensuing authority and clear consent
Suitable working conditions e.g. appropriate changing facilities, temperature control, meal breaks with nutritious food and drink, appropriate accommodation and transport provision where necessary
That no-one in the employment of the organisation, whether full time or freelance will exert any abuse of power or perceived power
To provide appropriate levels of insurance when the model is working under the auspices of the client either directly or through any subcontractor such as a studio, production company or photographer