Safe and Supportive Working Practices

Safeguarding: Bullying, Harassment and Discrimination

UK Theatre and SOLT are coordinating industry-wide action to ensure that everyone in theatre and performing arts can prevent and challenge bullying, harassment and discrimination. Our aim is to ensure the industry is a safer, more supportive and inclusive working environment for all in the future.

This work sits alongside UK Theatre and SOLT’s broader work to support the theatre and performing arts workforce. You may also find our diversity and inclusion resource library and mental health and wellbeing resource library useful.

The list below outlines some of our current initiatives to tackle bullying, harassment and discrimination in theatre.

  • 10 Principles: a set of principles to promote a shared responsibility for creating and maintaining an inclusive workplace that is positive and supportive and where bullying, harassment and discrimination is not tolerated. 
  • Theatre Helpline: a free and confidential support line available 24/7 for anyone working in theatre and performing arts in the UK. 
  • Legal Checklist: to support organisations in making sure you have clear, up-to-date policies and procedures for preventing and dealing with discrimination and harassment. 
  • Encouraging Safer and More Supportive Working Practices Handbook: a compilation of a variety of the resources listed here to help organisations create and promote safe, supportive and inclusive working environments.
  • Safety and Safeguarding for Women in Theatre: a guidance note to signpost resources and initiatives for both individuals and organisations
  • Industry consultation: a document outlining the key challenges and and best practice guidance arising from facilitated open forums we held in 2018.
  • Creative industries bullying, harassment and discrimination working group: SOLT and UK Theatre represent theatre and the performing arts on this cross-sector group, formed in June 2021 and chaired by DCMS and Creative Industries Federation, which aims to coordinate best practice across the creative industries

This group was formed in response to accusations of inappropriate behaviour in theatre and creative industries working environments, including bullying, sexual harassment and racism. Collectively these accusations reveal a sector that still needs guidance in what appropriate behaviour looks like, what positive welcoming working cultures look like, and clarification of organisations’ responsibilities in relation to the 2010 Equality Act. The Presidents of SOLT and UK Theatre have identified this work as a priority for our organisations and the sector.  

The working group includes:

  • Eleanor Lloyd (chair) - SOLT President
  • Stephanie Sirr (chair) - UK Theatre Joint President
  • Erica Whyman - Royal Shakespeare Company
  • Gaynor Evans - Royal Opera House
  • Kath Geraghty - National Theatre
  • Lesley Owusu - Sadler's Wells
  • Megan Conway - Ambassador Theatre Group
  • Nia Janis - Playful Productions
  • Sarah Houston - Mayflower Theatre
  • Annie Waugh - SOLT and UK Theatre
  • Claire Walker - SOLT and UK Theatre
  • Hannah Essex - SOLT and UK Theatre
  • Charlotte Fisher - SOLT and UK Theatre
  • Louise Norman - SOLT and UK Theatre
  • Claire Godden - SOLT and UK Theatre
  • Sebastian Cater - SOLT and UK Theatre

The first meeting of the working group was held in September 2021. In April 2022 the group was changed from Safeguarding Working Group to Working Culture Working Group. You can read the Terms of Reference for the group here.

The following policies, procedures and guidance have kindly been shared by member organisations to provide examples for others. If you have bullying, harassment or discrimination policies, procedures or codes of conduct that you would be happy to share, please email Annie Waugh, Projects Manager: ukt@soltukt.co.uk


 

General resources and guidance
Industry specific resources and guidance
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"UK Theatre" is the operating name of UK Theatre Association, a company limited by guarantee registered in England and Wales, whose registered office is at 32 Rose Street, London, WC2E 9ET, Company No 323204.