No one should have to put up with sexual harassment. Everyone working in our industry – regardless of age, gender, sexuality, background, or job – should be free to work within a safe environment without fear of abuse.
Sexual harassment simply should not happen. We must never accept this behaviour. We must not allow this behaviour to continue unchecked. We must never create an environment that fosters this behaviour. We must never allow those affected to go without help.
BAFTA have produced a set of principles that aim to eradicate such abuse (https://www.bfi.org.uk/about-bfi/policy-strategy/set-principles-screen-industry#what-principles).
The principles offer shared vision to promote and maintain a safer, more inclusive workplace environment for everyone working within the screen industries, whether they be employers, employees, officers, workers, agency workers, trainees, volunteers, trustees or freelancers.
We commit, as an organisation, to adhering to the BAFTA Principles (see Appendix). Everyone working for our company, or accepting work on a project or production, should be fully aware of the expectations that relate to acceptable behaviour and recognise that the manner in which they perform their role is just as important to ensuring success as technical competence or creative ability.
All employees, workers and freelancers will be given a copy of this Code along with their contract and expected to comply with the Principles (as amended from time to time). Any breach of the principles may lead to disciplinary action being taken or the contract terminated.
We encourage anyone who believes they have been subjected to any unwanted conduct of a sexual nature to follow the steps laid out in the Company’s Anti-Harassment and Bullying Policy so we can deal with this matter as quickly and effectively as possible.This policy can be found on the Company Intranet.
It is important to make the following behavioural guidelines clear to everyone:
- It’s never appropriate to initiate unwanted physical contact: touching legs, arms, hands, faces or intimate body parts.
- It’s never appropriate to send overly personal or suggestive communications to a colleague, whatever their level or role.
- It’s never appropriate to request or suggest sexual favours as a means to promotion, salary increases or for business gains.
- It’s never appropriate to hire or promote a person (or not to do these) based on their level of physical attractiveness.
- It’s never appropriate to verbally or otherwise sexually objectify anyone’s body; by using innuendos, suggestive or lewd comments or otherwise.
- It’s never appropriate to ask personal or intimate questions about someone’s clothing choices.
- It’s never appropriate to ask someone about their sexual habits, sexuality, gender or push for them to share their sexual experiences.
- It’s never appropriate for someone in a junior role to be asked by someone in a senior role to visit their home, hotel room or other place of stay alone, nor is it appropriate for someone in a senior role to visit someone in a junior role in their place of stay, uninvited.
- It’s never appropriate to exploit or wield your power over others.
- It’s never appropriate to use a person’s gender and perceived attractiveness as a way to impress clients and for business gains.
- It’s never okay to excuse someone’s behaviour because they are an important customer, client or have seniority.
- It’s never okay to excuse someone’s behaviour because they are held in high esteem e.g they come up with big ideas, run a huge team, win new business
- It’s never okay to excuse bad behaviour as ‘banter’.
- It’s never okay to excuse someone’s behaviour because…
…that’s ‘just the way they are’
…of their gender
…of their sexual orientation, even if it’s different to your own
…the harassment wasn’t physical
…of impaired thinking due to drug or alcohol use
- It’s never okay to excuse someone’s behaviour because it was away from
- the office and in environments such as…
…parties and social occasions
…business trips and overnight stays
…festivals and conferences
- It’s never okay to rely solely on non-verbal cues as consent for sexual behaviour; relying on face and body movements alone is not enough and dangerous. Get verbal consent.
Appendix: The BAFTA Principles:
2. We recognise that harassment may be unlawful under the Equality Act 2010.
3. Those of us who are employers accept our responsibilities under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.
4. We do not tolerate bullying and harassment, including sexual harassment, and will ensure that processes are in place for the reporting and investigation of these serious issues.
5. We recognise that bullying and harassment can have significant adverse impacts on the productivity, long-term health and well-being of affected people and we will work to eradicate it. This will mean providing adequate protection for complainants and victims, and, where bullying or harassment is found to have occurred, taking appropriate action against bullies or harassers.
6. We value inclusivity, appreciate difference, welcome learning from others, and consider people equal without prejudice or favour. We build relationships based on mutual respect. We will all work to give and receive feedback in a constructive way, which we know will improve creativity and productivity.
7. We understand that reporting bullying or harassment can be intimidating. We will respect confidentiality where possible and aim to make the process of reporting clear and straightforward. If anyone comes forward to report behaviour which might amount to bullying or harassment, we will endeavour to investigate objectively. Individuals who have made complaints of bullying and harassment or participate in good faith in any investigation should not suffer any form of reprisal or victimisation as a result.
8. We will respect each other’s dignity, regardless of the seniority of our role in an organisation.
We want everyone to feel like they have been listed to and any issues raised have been dealt with fairly and robustly. If you are interested in this subject, or would like to find out more about the kind of support available to you within the wider Industry, please see the links below:
Acas free confidential helpline: 0300 123 1100
Citizens Advice: Discrimination at Work – Bullying & Harassment
Equality & Human Rights Commission (EHRC)
Equality Advisory Support Service – EASS HelpLine: 0808 800 0082. This service is available for people who think they may have been discriminated against.
Gov.uk website on Workplace Bullying & Harassment
BBC Respect at Work Review
BECTU Respect @ Work clause
CTBF Film & TV Support Line – ctbf.co.uk
Federation of Entertainment Unions ‘Creating Without Conflict’ campaign
‘Report It To Stop It’ campaign Transport for London, part of Project Guardian
The Big Music Project: How to deal with bullying in the workplace
The Writers’ Guild of Great Britain – Creating without conflict
NABS Advice Line – 0800 707 6607