Today, the Society of London Theatre (SOLT) and UK Theatre announce their plans to support dignity at work. The new set of principles and zero-tolerance guidance is in direct response to the systemic issues revealed over past months in many workplaces including the entertainment industry.
They have been developed specifically with organisations and individuals within the performing arts industry including; Association of British Theatre Technicians, BECTU, Casting Directors Guild, Equity, Federation of Scottish Theatre, Independent Theatre Council, Musicians’ Union, Standing Council University Drama Departments, Theatre NI, One Dance UK and Writers’ Guild of Great Britain to prevent and tackle harassment and abuse of power, and ensure that theatres are an even safer, more supportive and inclusive working environment for all.
The results from industry-wide conversations have led to the formation of these plans:
· A Set of Ten Principles which offer a shared vision to promote a safe and inclusive workplace environment that everyone – employers, employees, workers, freelancers, volunteers, directors and trustees – should adhere to. These include a shared responsibility for creating and maintaining an inclusive workplace that is positive and supportive and where bullying and harassment, including sexual harassment, is not tolerated. The emphasis is to embed these principles during the early stages of people’s careers to ensure that a safer and more inclusive working culture becomes the norm.
· A Support Line from Connect Assist for people working in the performing arts industry resourced by the Theatre Development Trust, UK Theatre and SOLT. This free of charge, phone line will act as a resource to anyone needing support and advice re bullying and/or harassment, or has any other issue affecting them in their workplace (see Notes to Editors for additional info).
· Resources and Guidance UK Theatre and SOLT will provide Dignity at Work training delivered by Challenge Consultancy and will share good practice from across the UK and ensure that members can have easy access to clear up to date policies and procedures for preventing and dealing with harassment and bullying.
This work sits alongside the UK Theatre and SOLT’s on-going commitment to support the performing arts workforce.
The Olivier Awards with MasterCard 2018, which are produced by SOLT, are proud to be working in partnership with Time’s Up Theatre UK ahead of, and during, the event on Sunday 8 April to support an end to sexual assault, harassment and inequality across all industries.
Julian Bird, Chief Executive of the Society of London Theatre and UK Theatre, said, “The UK’s theatre scene is one of the most respected and renowned arts industries in the world. We want to ensure that those working within it, receive the same due respect and ensure that all our colleagues are safe and supported in their workplace.”
Cassandra Chadderton, Head of UK Theatre, added, “The support from within the UK theatre and performing arts industry to address and enable positive change has been overwhelming. Theatre is collaborative and we believe these plans can help bring about meaningful change together.”
Date Published: 05 April 2018