11 July 2022
On 7 June members of Equity’s Women’s Committee met with Carolyn Harris MP, who chairs the Government’s Menopause Taskforce alongside Minister for Women’s Health, Maria Caulfield. This important meeting was part of Equity’s campaign to improve the treatment and welfare of members who experience menopause, and tackle workplace discrimination. It follows our request to join the taskforce as a representative for the creative industries and freelance workforce, which was unfortunately rejected.
During this meeting the Committee relayed statistics from our recent survey of our women members, which found that approximately 20% of participants commented on intimidatory and exclusionary behaviour in the workplace. This is compounded by a lack of employment policies or practices to provide specific support and guidance to them. This evidence informed Equity’s submission to the government’s review of statutory protections around menopause-related discrimination.
The Committee relayed concerns with our piecemeal statutory framework, which lacks a specific focus on those in temporary, insecure work. Equity will continue to lobby for political change working alongside others in the trade union movement.
Going forward, the industrial priority for Equity and the Committee will be establish guidance for producers, casting directors and agents on workplace best practice. Additionally, Equity will review the guidance for members on members on safeguarding their welfare when working, and reporting any concerns around discrimination to Equity.