Elections for President, Council, Appeals Committee and Conference Business Committee

Equity Council Frequently Asked Questions

Can any member stand for election to the Council?


Any member who is up to date with their Equity membership subscription can stand for the Equity Council, with some limited exceptions (see below). For the first time, student members (aged 18 and over) and retired members are also eligible to stand.

Are there any qualifications for standing?

Any member who is up to date with their membership subscriptions can stand for election as President or to the Council General List, to the Appeals Committee or to the Conference Business Committee (CBC) without providing evidence of work. Any member who lives in the appropriate area of the UK can stand for one of the Council National or Regional seats without providing evidence of work. For all other seats on the Council you must submit evidence of professional work in the relevant work area (£750 in the past three years).

The seats concerned are: Audio Artists, Dancers, Theatre Designers, Theatre Directors, Singers, Stage Management and Variety Circus and Entertainers. For the Deaf and Disabled Members, LGBT+, Race Equality, Women’s and Young Members seats, you can provide evidence of professional paid work in any area covered by Equity (£750 in the past three years).

Are there any other restrictions?

You can’t stand for election to the Equity Council or as the President of Equity if you are a member or an employee of an association with which the union negotiates or seeks to negotiate, or if you are a manager/employer/paid agent or fixer of members. See Rules J17 and J19 for full details.


Is being on the Equity Council only for older members or those who are famous?


No. Any member can serve on the Equity Council. The Council is made up of members of all ages with a huge variety of experience in the industry.


Do I have to have experience of being on a committee?


No. Experience of working in the entertainment industry is all you will need. You will be offered training soon after being elected which will equip you for working on a committee.

If I am elected will I need to learn all the Equity rules and know all the agreements in detail?

No. Equity has expert staff whose job it is to know the rules and the details of the agreements and they will always be happy to advise you. Some members may expect you to be an expert, but it is better to take advice from a member of staff than to guess and possibly get it wrong.


Can I stand for election if I am already elected to an Equity committee?

Yes. All committee members are entitled to stand, but in some circumstances, they will be deemed to have resigned from the committee if they are elected to certain seats on the Council. If you are a member of an industrial, equalities or national committee
and you are elected to a corresponding seat on the Council, you will be deemed to have resigned from the committee.


Do I get paid if I am elected?


No. There is no salary, but you are not expected to be out of pocket. You reasonable expenses, including travel, meals, accommodation where necessary and caring responsibilities will be met by Equity. For more information, see the meeting expenses guidelines (see the link on the Council elections page).


What are the duties and responsibilities of an Equity Councillor?


The powers and duties of the Equity Council are set out in Rule J of the Equity Rulebook. Rule M covers the duties of the President and Rules W and X cover the duties of the Appeals Committee and CBC respectively.


How much time will I have to spend being on the Equity Council?


There are usually nine meetings of the Equity Council a year, plus the annual conference. You are expected to attend these meetings unless you are working or have personal reasons for not being available. Each meeting lasts from around 13:00 until anytime from 16:00-18:00.

If you are elected to an industrial, equalities or national seat, you will also be invited to attend approximately five meetings a year of the relevant industrial, equalities or national committee.

There are also working parties, negotiating teams and representation on other bodies outside of Equity. These are additional duties for which you may wish to consider volunteering if you are elected.


Does the Equity Council always meet in London?


The Council usually meets in London at Equity’s head office in Covent Garden. The only time to Council generally meets outside of London is for Equity Conference each year. All Council meetings are hybrid, you can attend in person or online.


How many members are there on the Equity Council?


The Equity Council has 25 seats: 12 general list seats, 10 industrial seats, five equalities seats and eight national/regional seats. The President is also a member of the Equity Council and takes one of the 35 seats as well.

The Appeals Committee has five seats and the CBC has five seats elected by the membership and four seats elected by and from the Equity Council itself.


Can I stand for election to more than one seat on the on the Equity Council?


No. You can stand for election to only one seat on the Equity Council and if you are standing for the Council, you may not also stand for either the Appeals Committee or the CBC.

However, if you are not a candidate for the Council you may stand for both the Appeals Committee and the CBC. Candidates for President must also stand as a candidate for the Council. See Rule M6
for full details.