Yard Theatre celebrates NPO status with new Equity house agreement

Upon becoming a National Portfolio Organisation (NPO), London’s Yard Theatre agreed with Equity to create a new house agreement that upholds industry standards and reflects their new position as a subsidised institution.

Following talks with the union, the theatre committed to operating both the Equity Pension and an auto-enrolment pension for artists. It will also increase subsistence payments so that they are in line with those offered by the National Theatre, and guarantee breaks and overtime payment.

In addition to this, the Yard Theatre will ask for shorter weeks than it did under its previous agreement, which used commercial theatre-style terms.

The space will support similar good practice from visiting companies, by asking for appropriate industry agreements from incoming producers – whether this is the Equity Fringe Agreement for low-budget productions, a Commercial Agreement for those with greater financial means or an ITC Agreement for shows receiving government subsidy.

Yard Theatre’s artistic director Jay Miller said: “As The Yard joins Arts Council England’s National Portfolio, we are delighted to be signing a new House agreement with Equity. Through this agreement, and our relationship with Equity, we’ll make sure actors and stage managers who work at The Yard are treated with respect, paid in line with industry standards, and are given the best environment to make outstanding new theatre. We are so excited to meet the Equity members who are going to make the future of theatre with us.”

The union’s industrial organiser for theatre Paul Fleming described the agreement as a “very responsible and welcome step."

“In terms of its constructive engagement with the union, The Yard is a model of how responsible employers should respond to a challenging environment in funding without compromising members’ terms and conditions or voice in their workplace.”