Your rights in the workplace and how you should expect to be treated
Rights at work
You have a right to be treated with dignity at work and to be paid fairly and on time. If you have an issue in the workplace Equity can support you. Call Equity on 020 7379 6000 or speak to the Equity Official for your sector. You can find their details on our contact page.
Accessible word version coming soon.
Access to work
You have a right to work. Access to Work can provide grants to remove barriers disabled people face in undertaking paid employment, including for equipment, travel and support workers.
Find out about your right to support and how to make a claim
Agreements and contracts
The Equity agreements set out the terms of our work and underpin all contracts. If you have questions about a contract or agreement, don’t hesitate to contact Equity on 020 7379 6000.
If you are considering or are currently working on a non-Equity agreement, take a look at our checklist of things to look for.
Having a contract signed by yourself and your engager helps ensure your working conditions are outlined, and your rights are protected.
Bullying and harassment
Have you seen a breakdown using inappropriate language or a discriminatory brief?
Have you been ask an inappropriate question in a casting, or been subject to behaviour that made you feel uncomfortable? Do you feel the outcome of a casting process is inappropriate, or feel you weren’t given a fair chance to succeed?
If you have concerns about inappropriate questions, breakdown language, audition feedback, access call us on 020 7379 6000 or contact the official for your sector. You can also use this form if you’d like Equity to take a look at castings or job adverts you believe are inappropriate, whether that’s because the rate of pay is below the national minimum wage, or other reasons such as inappropriate stipulations in the casting brief.
For commercials, contact TVcommercials@ equity.org.uk
- For information on what you can and can’t be asked in a casting, check out Equity’s Casting Questions Card.
- Equity’s guidance 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 in the Equity copyright guide.
Women workers, whether employees or self-employed, have the right to equal pay for equal work. The rights to equal pay are established in the Equality Act 2010.
Find out more on the Equity for Women Money page
Flexible working and job sharing
Your rights around requesting flexible work, and information on job-sharing can be found on the Equity for Women Maternity and Care page and also in Equity's maternity and parental childcare rights guide.
Health and safety
Your employer has a duty of care for your health and safety — both physical and mental. Read about what you should expect from your place of work in the Equity guide to health and safety.
You are almost always entitled to holiday pay. Read more about your rights here.
If in doubt, check if you’re entitled on the Citizens Advice website.
Intimacy and nudity
Find out more about your rights when working with intimacy and nudity, Equity’s guidance for best practice and what to expect during the casting process on the Equity for Women Intimacy and Nudity page.
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 on 020 7379 6000 or contact your sector official.
You should be paid within 30 days. 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. Find more information and resources in our Professionally Made Professionally Paid campaign.
Low pay/no pay
Find Equity’s guidance around low and unpaid work in our Professionally Made Professionally Paid guidance.
Experiencing menopausal symptoms at work can be hard, especially in the performing arts industry. While menopause and perimenopause are not specifically protected under the Equality Act, if you are treated unfairly at work because of menopause or perimenopause, this could amount to discrimination. Find out more about the law and how to get help.
Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDAs)
NDAs should never prevent you from reporting sexual harassment or other inappropriate behaviour. Find advice on Non-Disclosure Agreements on the Equity for Women Sexual Harassment page. Find further government advice on the use of NDAs. If you have a concern call us on 020 7379 6000 or contact your sector official directly.
Reporting bad practice
We encourage women members of Equity to develop a clear sense of their employment and workplace rights as part of your union's work to make the entertainment industry a fair, inclusive place to work. You will get a clear outline of these employment and workplace rights within the Equity for Women pages.
Where you feel that your rights as a woman are in any way undermined, or you are generally concerned around bad practice (for example not discouraging behaviour that undermines a safe working space for women) you are encouraged to contact Equity and speak confidentially about this issue. You can call Equity on 020 7379 6000 or contact your sector official directly - you can find their details on our contact page.
Learn about the Cast It Here campaign and what Equity is doing to encourage casting outside of London.
Campaign to achieve 50:50 gender balance on stage and screen by 2020.
Equal pay campaign and research.
Industry organisations' statements on diversity.
Federation of Entertainment Unions’ guide to dealing with bullying, harassment and discrimination.
Invoicing and payment support.
Charity Each Other on periods at work and periods and the Equality Act.
Parents in Performing Arts work to make our industry effectively inclusive of parents and carers.
Equity’s campaign for inclusive casting.
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.
Campaign to create an off-stage workforce that is more reflective of our society today, inclusive of ethnicity, class and disability.
Information on equal pay and opportunity.
Equity guides and documents
The documents below outline the campaigns and resources created by Equity to support members at work.
- Agenda for change
Equity’s manifesto for a safe working environment for all.
- Bullying and harassment guide
Equity’s pocket guide on Bullying and Harassment explains your rights at work and how to address and report bullying at work
- Casting questions card
What you can - and can’t - be asked in a casting.
- Diversity on screen report
Report on ethnic representation in peak drama (2020).
- LGBT+ members guide
Information for LGBT+ members.