Equity negotiates on behalf of our members, with the employers' organisations and in certain cases with individual major employers (e.g the BBC, Royal Shakespeare Company) or those with a specialist interest such as the Open Univerisity, to provide a framework of working conditions and minimum levels of pay and engagement fees across the entertainment industry. Having this structure ensures fair treatment for all concerned, stability and clarity which saves everyone a lot of time in a very fast moving industry.
Agreements can take many months to negotiate as the process is detailed and consultative where everyone concerned is committed to ensuring the industry is a safe environment that promotes fair treatment and seeks to raise professional standards. Therefore, Equity Agreements are not re-negotiated every year but work on longer cycles. The rates of pay do change annually and up-to-date information on these is available from our helpdesks.
Member of an employers' body?
You can obtain copies of Equity agreements which set out employment terms and conditions for performers and creative team personnel from the employers' body to which you belong (e.g. SOLT, UK Theatre, ITC, PACT, TAC, BSKYB, BPI etc)
Work for a company where there is an Equity "house" agreement?
Your company should have copies of the up-to-date terms of your house agreement with Equity (e.g. Royal Shakespeare Company, Royal National Theatre, Disney, BBC, ITV etc) If not, please contact one of our helpdesks.
We encourage emerging employers to work with us and have information for fringe companies and those making low budget films. The theatre employers' organisations offer a lot of useful advice for new producers from how to set up a theatre company to marketing and health and safety. If you are interested in audiovisual production Skillset has a lot of information for you.
If you are putting together a funding application make sure you include in the budget the correct Equity rates of pay for the artists.
Paying the artists.
You should be aware that if you are employing performers and not paying them, you will in nearly every case be breaking the law and laying yourself open to possible legal action.