Stamping out sexual harassment
In 2017 Equity’s survey of Sexual Harassment, Criminal Misconduct and Bullying in Australian Live Performance revealed that most theatres did not have a sexual harassment policy.
Only 11% of performers say they were made aware of company policy on harassment. Almost 50% of those who reported sexual harassment said the situation got worse after reporting.
What has changed? For two years, Equity has been campaigning vigorously to stop sexual harassment. We have worked with and against producers to ensure proper workplace systems are in place to prevent and address harassment.
Since September 2018, all productions must be on board with the Code. What does that mean? If a complaint is raised now, it must be kept confidential. Complaints should be reported to the Board and proper records kept. Even if a complaint is lodged informally, the company has a responsibility to act if there is a safety risk. This may mean holding a refresher induction or training the workforce. As a matter of fairness to all parties, the person complained of has a right to know what is claimed, certainly if an adverse finding is made. These principles of fairness, confidentiality and support are the keystones of our new industry protocols. The age of denial is over.
If you have any questions or concerns about your treatment in the workplace, please contact your union on 1300 65 65 13.