Incorporating the Variety Artistes' Federation
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About us


Equity is the UK trade union for professional performers and creative practitioners. As a leading industry organisation, Equity is known and respected nationally and internationally for the work we do with, and on behalf of, our members working across all areas of the entertainment industry.

We are a campaigning and organising union and proud of our strong record of taking the things that matter to our members to parliament and other centres of influence. Being part of Equity gives members a voice in these places. Members are at the heart of all the union’s activities and by getting involved they drive forward the work of the union.


Equity's 40,000+  members form a cultural community that is of major importance to the UK in artistic, social and economic terms and Equity works to support them by negotiating their terms and conditions including fee structures with all kinds of employers and employer’s groups. Our 5,000 Student Members are also able to access information and advice to help prepare them for work in the industry.

If you want to hear directly from some of our members about what Equity does and why it matters go to chatter-box

The union has a team of full-time staff in offices across the UK who have a wealth of experience and expertise when it comes to advice and representation. They are able to deal with the issues raised by members working in all areas of the industry whether it be a major feature film, a theatre in education show, radio voice overs, a circus act or any other live or recorded work.

There are also lots of Equity branches around the country where members come together to discuss issues of concerm, network and attend events.


Set up in 1930 by a group of artists Equity has, over the decades, had many landmark moments which have made the industry a better place to work. We have brought about  fair payments and fees for artists; health and safety regulation; an outstanding royalties and residuals structure; members' pension and insurance schemes; supported individuals and groups of members; taken a stand on their behalf and made a difference in countless ways.

In 1967 Equity incorporated the Variety Artistes' Federation.  For the history of the VAF and the story of how it came together with Equity have a look at this

In 2005 we celebrated our 75th anniversary. To get a taste of Equity's achievements across the decades, have a look at the history of the union.