Industry checklist developed to help prevent harassment in theatre

The #metoo campaign has helped bring sexual harassment in the industry into the open. Photo: Shutterstock The #metoo campaign has helped bring sexual harassment in the industry into the open. Photo: Shutterstock
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A checklist for theatres nationwide has been developed aimed at preventing and dealing with workplace harassment in the industry.

The guidelines outline what constitutes harassment and bullying, and call on venues to ensure they have a clear process that employees can follow to report allegations of abuse.

They have been drawn up by the Society of London Theatre and UK Theatre, and warn that employers can be “held legally responsible for instances of harassment”. Having a clear policy, the document states, can help theatres establish “that you all took reasonable steps to prevent bullying and harassment taking place”.

In addition, UK Theatre and SOLT are planning a helpline for employees across the industry, which would deal with issues affecting work performance, health and well-being.

The industry bodies also said new courses, such as ‘Developing Dignity at Work Policies’ – will be added to their training programmes in the spring.

“UK Theatre and SOLT are supporting members and the industry, to share and develop policies and practices that mean theatre is a safe and supportive working environment for everyone. We are coordinating industry-wide activity to ensure that we respond positively and responsibly to the issue of sexual harassment and abuses of power in the theatre industry,” the bodies said in a statement.

SOLT and UK Theatre are also holding a series of open forum events across the country, which will provide opportunities to share and learn from best practice across the industry.

Last week, Glenda Jackson spoke about the recent number of allegations in the sector, claiming the response to them had been hypocritical.

Click here for all The Stage’s coverage of harassment in the theatre industry and advice on who to contact if you or someone you know has been a victim.