17 December 2020
As organisations representing those who have been hit hardest by the period of the lockdown we stand in solidarity with one another to ensure that their interests are not worsened as the entertainment industry moves towards recovery, but are protected and positively enhanced.
We demand that the interests of under-represented and marginalised groups across the United Kingdom’s (UK) nations and regions are centre stage to a common, unified vision for the creative and cultural industries. Our workplaces must become and remain welcoming, safe spaces for all working people.
As campaigning organisations we will work together to use each other’s resources, energy and support to build a common vision of what fairer artistic workplaces should look like. We’ll achieve this by informing the work of Equity, a campaigning trade union whose mission and role is to protect, defend and improve the world of work, and expand access to quality terms and conditions. We strive for a diverse, inclusive recovery; where diversity reflects the UK as it is, and inclusion ensures the adoption of transparent, non-discriminatory employment practices.
We have 10 equality essentials for any new work after lockdown – the bedrock of a post-COVID world:
The 10 Equality Essentials
DIGNITY: Pay a rate not just to do the job, but to live between jobs. Have policies set that have the most robust responses to instances of bullying, harassment and discrimination.
CASTING: Plan ahead for casting calls that ask for under-represented artists. Combine monitoring activity with a clear, strategic sense of fair and equal representation of the sector’s labour market.
RECRUITING: Look at your creative and technical team, your stage management etc. and value the culture a diverse presence creates. Value equally the outcomes of ensuring that diverse casting reflects a diverse creative and stage management team.
ACCESS: Audit your workspace for accessibility. Commit to achieve accessible buildings and communication within your recovery planning, ensuring that D/deaf and disabled workers can play a full role in this.
FLEXIBILITY: Give your workforce modern, flexible opportunities to work. Do not penalise workers for having lives beyond your needs.
MONITOR: At audition, at interview, at appointment: monitor the diversity of your entire workforce. Work to build collectively bargained monitoring that encompasses casting, recruitment, pay, transparency.
MENTOR: Use and fund advocacy groups to aid career development backstage, onstage and in the creative team. Use mentoring as a chance to learn from mentor and mentee equally.
DEMOCRATISE: Put artists and other creative practitioners at every level of your organisation, in protected governance and management roles. Democratise with the voices you’ve listened to least.
INVESTMENT: To budget for union minima as the minimum, not the standard. To campaign to ensure artists’ and other creative practitioner voices are represented in the funding process.
OUTPUT: Build the world that tells the stories we’ve never heard and deserve to know
We call on engagers and funding bodies across the UK to test their vision for a post COVID world against these standards. We call on them to work with and listen to every campaigning organisation allied to this call for a diverse, inclusive recovery, to build the workplaces our workforce and our audiences deserve. We demand that they give those voices real power, as a collective, through their union Equity to have a say over the conditions they work under – work which does not exist without them.
This statement has been signed by Arts Emergency, Power Play, Sphinx Theatre, Hijinx Theatre, Inc Arts, Common, Equal Representation for Actresses, Parents and Carers in Performing Arts and #WeShallNotBeRemoved.