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SOLT releases guidelines to help avoid sexual harassment and bullying in theatre workplaces

Society of London Theatre and UK theatre have released a set of ten principles to promote a safe and inclusive workplace

West End
© Flickr/Arpad Lukacs

Society of London Theatre and UK Theatre have announced a series of initiatives intended to help promote safe spaces to work in the theatre industry.

Prompted by recent scandals surrounding prominent figures in the film and theatre industry, SOLT has spoken with industry guilds and unions to put together a set of ten principles intended to create workplaces where bullying and harassment are not tolerated.

The ten principles include "Everyone is responsible for creating and maintaining an inclusive workplace that is positive and supportive," "We will ensure that processes are in place for the reporting and investigation of bullying and harassment including sexual harassment" and "We will respect each other's dignity, regardless of the seniority of our role in an organisation."

The principles have been created for employers, employees, workers, freelancers, volunteers, directors and trustees to adhere to.

Also announced is the free-of-charge Support Line from Connect Assist, which will be available for anyone needing support and advice around bullying and harassment. The helpline will be piloted for a year, with a launch date yet to be announced. SOLT and UK Theatre will also provide training around Dignity at Work, delivered by Challenge Consultancy.

The announcements come following Equity's Agenda for Change launch, which also included guidelines for casting processes and rehearsals.

Julian Bird, chief executive of SOLT and UK theatre said "The UK's theatre scene is one of the most respected and renowned arts industries in the world. We want to ensure that those working within it, receive the same due respect and ensure that all our colleagues are safe and supported in their workplace."

The Olivier Awards, run and staged by SOLT, take place this Sunday. At the event, the organisation is partnering with Time's Up Theatre UK, to tackle the issues of sexual assault, harassment and inequality across the industry.