Knowing our rights is essential to being able to work sustainably and well. You have a right to dignity, equality, and safety at work — and to be paid fairly and on time.
Check out our resources below and find further information on this website's Know Your Rights section.
The Access to Work (AtW) scheme is a government funded employment support scheme that aims to help D/deaf and disabled workers to obtain work and stay in work. Put simply, AtW covers the additional costs you may incur in seeking work and staying work as a result of being D/deaf and disabled and this includes, for example, the costs of implementing reasonable adjustments.
Many Equity members have successfully obtained AtW to obtain work across the entertainment industry. For Equity members AtW has funded activity like:
- Accessible accommodation.
- The difference in cost between the Equity digs rate and a hotel room.
- BSL Interpreters.
- Personal assistants
- Transport e.g. taxis
Guidance on the detail of AtW and how to make an application is available here:
Equity members have also faced obstacles in accessing AtW funding. There is a valuable guide on the kinds of problems posed to creative workers and AtW which has been published by Disability Arts Online:
If you have concerns in making an application for AtW, or have been turned down, and would like to speak to a member of staff in Equity’s Tax and Welfare Service please use the following contact details:
Call 0207 670 0223 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Equity’s agreements set the terms of our work and underpin all contracts. The agreement is where you’ll find details about breaks, holiday pay, royalties, pensions, and more, so it’s important to know what’s in them.
If you have questions about a contract or agreement, contact Equity on 020 7379 6000. You don’t have to be working on an Equity contract to get advice.
Designing Your Own Contract - Equity have created a guide to writing your own contracts for work. This is especially common in the variety sector and for one-off gigs, and having a contract signed by yourself and your engager helps ensure your working conditions are outlined and your rights are protected.
Your experience at work should be safe, inclusive and free from bullying and harassment. Harassment is unlawful under the Equality Act 2010.
To report bullying or harassment, you can contact Equity confidentially.
You have the right to a safe, accessible casting process free from discrimination. For example:
- An employer is required to make reasonable adjustments for any access requirements (including dyslexia)
- You should not be required to undress, or perform scenes of an intimate nature, in an audition without prior negotiation, or without a person of your choosing present (for more information, see Intimacy and Nudity here)
If a breakdown is discriminatory or uses inappropriate language, or if you feel the outcome of a casting process is inappropriate, or feel you weren’t given a fair chance to succeed, you can contact Equity confidentially here.
For information on what you can and can’t be asked in a casting, check out Equity’s Casting Questions Card
Read Equity’s guidance pages for best practice and what to expect during the casting process
When creating and presenting your own original work, there are certain copyright laws that will protect your work from infringement. Find out more here.
There is a long-standing concern about the unequal pay received by women. Women workers, whether employees or self-employed, have the right to equal pay for equal work.
If you suspect you are not receiving equal pay, contact us on 020 7379 6000 or via your official.
For legal support, check out our legal support page.
Click here for more information on what constitutes equal pay for equal work.
If you need to change the hours you work because of childcare, or if you want to apply for a job on a job-share basis, you can make a request for flexible work. Your employer has a duty to consider your request in a reasonable manner and your employer must not discriminate against you.
For assistance approaching your current (or potential) employer regarding flexible work, contact Equity.
Maternity Action — offers good advice on child-friendly working hours
Equity works closely with Parents in Performing Arts (PIPA). PIPA’s resources on job-sharing are below:
Intimacy and nudity at work should always be negotiated carefully and with consent. Find out more about your rights, Equity’s guidance for best practice, and how to negotiate castings on the Equity for Women Intimacy and Nudity page.
Nudity clauses - Nudity clauses vary across agreements. If you need information on the agreement you are working on, or have concerns about a non-Equity contract, you can contact Equity for further assistance and support here: 020 7379 6000
Remember, even if you have signed a nudity clause, you have the right to change your mind at any point.
If you have concerns about intimacy or nudity, contact Equity.
You should be paid within 30 days, and your agent has to pay you within 10 days of receiving funds.
If you have not been paid on time for work, contact us on 020 7379 6000.
Equity also has several template agreements for you when you’re working on low-budget contracts, so you can make sure you’re being paid (or are paying others) appropriately that can be found in the rates and agreements section.
Professionally Made, Professionally Paid Campaign - Check out Equity’s campaign for appropriate payment for all work.
The lack of workplace attention to hormonal health — which includes periods, the menopause, and many other hormonal experiences and conditions — can greatly impact one’s experience at work. While hormonal health is not specifically protected under the Equality Act, if you are treated unfairly at work because of it, this could amount to discrimination.
Read more about your rights when it comes to menopause here.
If you feel you have been discriminated against on the basis of your hormonal health, contact Equity as soon as possible.
Non-Disclosure Agreements, or NDAs, should never prevent you from reporting sexual harassment or other inappropriate behaviour. If you have a concern about an NDA, speak to Equity confidentially.
Non-disclosure agreements (NDAs), or confidentiality clauses, are common in the entertainment industry. They typically appear in contracts and, when used properly, are a valid means to limit the sharing of material to third parties and to maintain confidentiality.
These agreements have however become overused by some employers to limit the disclosure of criminal acts or other behaviour (for example sexual harassment) which is unacceptable and should be disclosed to a third party, including the police or Equity.
Even where you have signed an NDA a reputable employer will have a formal process for the reporting of any concerns you have to them. These procedures are sometimes called a grievance or dispute procedure. The employer may also have a whistleblowing procedure which allows for the anonymous reporting of serious concerns around negligence or criminal acts.
You should contact Equity with any concerns regarding an NDA, and particularly if an employer, engager or agent is advising you not to.
You can confidentially report bad practice or discrimination here.
When you sign up to the Equity Pension Scheme, your employer on certain Equity contracts will also contribute to your pension. The scheme is available to all members and is free to join. Find out more.
CASTING DIRECTORS GUILD - The CDG on what’s allowed in castings, from appropriate questions to nudity guidance. If you have concerns about a casting, you can also report them to the Casting Directors’ Guild here.
CAST IT HERE - Learn about the Cast It Here campaign and what Equity is doing to encourage casting outside of London
ERA 50:50 - Campaign to achieve 50:50 gender balance on stage and screen by 2020
EQUAL PAY TODAY - Equal pay campaign and research
FEDERATION OF ENTERTAINMENT UNIONS - Federation of Entertainment Unions’ guide to dealing with bullying, harassment and discrimination
PAY ON TIME - Invoicing and payment support
PIPA - Parents in Performing Arts work to make our industry effectively inclusive of parents and carers
SAFE SPACES - No-one should be made to feel unsafe in their workplace. Safe Spaces is Equity’s campaign to see that our members are respected like any other worker in any other sector.
STAGE SIGHT - Campaign to create an off-stage workforce that is more reflective of our society today, inclusive of ethnicity, class and disability