No-one should be made to feel unsafe in their workplace.

Our members deserve the same respect as any other worker in any other sector. Our Safe Spaces campaign aims to give them the confidence to challenge and report inappropriate behaviour, knowing the union is always behind them.

We’re calling on everyone in the industry to work together to create a culture shift. Our Agenda for Change report outlines our asks to the industry, to workplaces and Equity’s own commitments to the campaign.

Use our safe spaces statement

One of our key asks is for companies to demonstrate their commitment to creating spaces free of bullying and harassment by reading our safe spaces statement at the beginning of a production’s rehearsal period.

Video: The Safe Spaces statement


Agenda for Change and our safe spaces statement were written by our Safe Spaces working group. The group formed in 2017 in the wake of #MeToo and the disturbing spate of revelations. Its aim is simple: to figure out how to address our industry's sexual harassment crisis.

Getting support if you are being harassed

Supporting members to challenge and report harassment and inappropriate behaviour is at the core of our campaign. We are developing a step-by-step guide that will offer clarity on unacceptable behaviour and good practice - as well as advice on what to do if you are the victim or observer of sexual harassment or assault.

What to do if you are being bullied or harassed

Call us

It can be difficult to challenge bullying or harassing behaviour. If anything at all makes you feel uneasy, talk to a specialist member of staff at Equity on 020 7369 6000. We're here to help. If you, or someone else, are in immediate danger call 999.

Don’t tolerate it

No one should tolerate harassment or bullying behaviour while seeking work (e.g. casting sessions, interviews.) or when they are working. And no one should tolerate this when you witness or hear of it happening to others.

Actions you can take

  • Safeguard yourself at all times. There will be occasions when you do not feel comfortable or able to challenge your mistreatment, or that of others.
  • Contact Equity at the earliest opportunity. We treat your case confidentially, and will not take any action without your prior approval.
  • You may be able to raise a workplace concern without revealing your identity. This is known as whistleblowing.
  • Contact the police where your experience involves alleged criminal behaviour e.g. assault, stalking.
  • Keep a diary of all events, people etc. linked to an allegation of bullying or harassment.
  • Keep copies, or take photos of, relevant forms, images, documents etc.
  • Avoid using social, or other, media to challenge alleged harassment or bullying. This can prejudice any subsequent case Equity may pursue on your behalf.

Reporting inappropriate questions 

In most circumstances in a casting, audition or interview you should not be asked about your age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage/civil partnership, pregnancy/maternity, race, religion or belief, sex, sexual orientation. These are protected characteristics under the Equality Act 2010. If you are questioned about any of the above you are encouraged to ask why the question is being asked, and/or contact Equity.

If asked about age, you could say, for example “My playing range is...”, “Can I ask, why are you asking that question?”, “Equity advises me not to answer that”. If asked on a form, leave it blank, or write in your playing range. Either way, report it to Equity. Equity will contact the company, and you can remain anonymous.

How to Report

Make a note of any information e.g. casting director, name of the studio, production company and/or take photos (if you can) of relevant forms, photos, screens. Send them to: equalities@equity.org.uk. Or in the case of commercials
tgale@equity.org.uk. We can pursue your concerns without needing to identify you.

The launch of our Safe Spaces campaign

Safe Spaces was launched with the cast of the Young Vic’s Yerma (see above photo, from left to right: John MacMillan, Maureen Beattie, Kwame Kwei-Armah, Billie Piper, Thalissa Teixeira, Brendan Cowell and Charlotte Randle), and the production’s stage managers.

On the one year anniversary of the launch, we unveiled a video version of the statement read by David Tennant, Rosalie Craig, Sir Michael Boyd, Jason Pennycooke, Phil Davis, Niamh Cusack, Sarah Gordy, Jonathan Bailey and Maureen Beattie.

Documents

Agenda for Change.pdf

Support our campaigns

Speak to someone

If you are being harassed speak to Equity confidentially on 020 7369 6000.

Helen's story

"I’ve told people who aren’t members, who have experienced things, to join the union because I don’t think they realise what Equity can do. If it wasn’t for the union I wouldn’t have been able to take my employer to court. I got a lot of emotional support. Joining Equity makes you part of a strong community, and gives you access to a great support network." Helen Vine, actress. Read Helen's story. 

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