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. Please see the tab below for more information.
  • Theatre Helpline: a free and confidential support line available 24/7 for anyone working in theatre and performing arts in the UK. Please see the tab below for more information.
  • 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. Please see the tab below for more information.
  • 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.
  • Cultural Statement: a set of values formed from the collective voice of SOLT, UK Theatre and Stage One, which all our employees have a responsibility to uphold.
  • 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
  • Safeguarding working group: set up in September 2021, this group helps shape SOLT and UK Theatre’s response to bullying, harassment and discrimination challenges in the industry. Please see the tab below for more information.

SOLT and UK Theatre's 10 Principles to encourage safer and even more supportive working practices in theatre are intended to help all employers, employees, workers, freelancers, volunteers, directors and trustees to create a positive tone and culture. They have been adapted from the principles to tackle and prevent bullying, harassment and racism in the film industry compiled by the BFI. The 10 Principles are supported by the major unions and industry bodies.

View and download the 10 Principles

Theatre Helpline logo.jpg

Theatre Helpline (0800 915 4617) is a free and confidential service for anyone working in theatre and the performing arts in the UK.

Theatre Helpline provides advice and support to help deal with challenges you are facing, such as:

  • Bullying or harassment
  • Health issues including mental health
  • Injury and mobility problems
  • Issues with employment or unemployment
  • Career issues including professional development and training
  • Retirement and care in later life
  • Debt and financial issues

The Theatre Helpline offers advice and signposting. If you want someone to talk to get in touch, anytime. We’re here to help 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You can also email advice@theatrehelpline.org

Download a Theatre Helpline poster to display at your organisation (in English)Download a Theatre Helpline poster to display at your organisation (in Welsh)

Read our Theatre Helpline FAQs (English)Read our Theatre Helpline FAQs (Welsh)

UK Theatre and SOLT have produced a checklist to support you in making sure you have clear, up-to-date policies and procedures for preventing and dealing with bullying, harassment and discrimination within your organisation, in line with the Equality Act 2010.

The checklist gives definitions of bullying and harassment and provides guidance in five areas:

  1. Review your policy on harassment and bullying
  2. Communicate your policy to staff
  3. Ensure managers understand how to handle issues raised
  4. Keep matters confidential
  5. Consider a strategy for managing communications

Download the checklist

 

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: annie@soltukt.co.uk


 

General resources and guidance
Industry specific resources and guidance

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
  • Fiona Allan (chair) - UK Theatre President
  • Eddie Redfern - Little Theatre Guild
  • Erica Whyman - Royal Shakespeare Company
  • Gaynor Evans - Royal Opera House
  • Kate Varah - Old Vic
  • Lesley Owusu - Sadler's Wells
  • Megan Conway - Ambassador Theatre Group
  • Nia Janis - Playful Productions
  • Sarah Houston - Mayflower Theatre
  • Annie Waugh - SOLT and UK Theatre
  • Julian Bird - SOLT and UK Theatre
  • Marsha Bull - SOLT and UK Theatre
  • Sebastian Cater - SOLT and UK Theatre

The first meeting of the working group was held in September 2021. You can read the Terms of Reference for the group here.

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