Posted December 17, 2012
What Is The MRE Clause?
The MRE (More Remunerative Employment) Clause, which is found in some but not all Equity Agreements, is contractual language that states a member may take an unpaid leave of absence for a limited time from a production only for a higher paying, short-term job in the entertainment industry.
Here's an example:
Do you have a two-day commercial job? Are you on an Equity contract for a show that is in performances or rehearsals? Then, if the Equity Agreement which covers the production you are in has the MRE clause, you can take the time off to do that commercial.
WHATS SHORT TERM EMPLOYMENT IN THE ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY MEAN?
Short-term employment can be two days to two weeks and is defined by the Agreement. Employment means that its actually contractual work on one of the agreements in the jurisdiction of one of the entertainment unions (AEA, SAG-AFTRA, AFM, AGMA, AGVA, SDC, IATSE, GIAA).
DO AUDITIONS COUNT AS MRE ?
No. Auditions are not employment for which you are receiving a salary, so they are not covered by MRE Clauses.
WHAT'S THE CATCH?
There isn't a catch - but you have to know the Agreement under which you are working because it may not have the MRE clause (hint: no MRE clause in Production or LORT). And because the MRE language differs from agreement to agreement, so it's advisable to check the contract language or call your Business Rep for clarification.
WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENCES?
The amount of time you can take varies from Agreement to Agreement. Some have what are called "black-out periods" (like during opening week) where an Actor is not allowed to invoke the MRE clause, while others have "black-out periods" that require a Producer's consent. In some Agreements, an MRE leave can be considered termination. For example, the Off Broadway contract an MRE notice of long-term employment (longer than 2 weeks) is a notice of termination to the Producer
The take-away? Know your Agreement or call your Business Rep.