Policy brief & purpose
Our grievance procedure policy explains how employees and performers can voice their complaints in a constructive way. Employees and performers should be able to follow a fair grievance procedure, to be heard and avoid conflicts.
The company encourages employees and performers to communicate their grievances, to ensure we foster a supportive and pleasant workplace for everyone.
This policy refers to everyone in the company regardless of position or status.
We define grievance as any complaint, problem or concern of an employee or performer regarding their workplace, job or co-worker relationships.
Employees can file grievances for any of the following reasons:
- Workplace harassment
- Health and safety
- Supervisor / Director behaviour
- Adverse changes in employment conditions
This list in not exhaustive. However, employees and performers should try to resolve less important issues informally before they resort to a formal grievance.
Employees and performers who file grievances can:
- Reach out to their direct supervisor (for example the director of a play), Producer (Frankie Parham) or Executive Director (Katy Beechey)
- File a grievance form explaining the situation in detail
- Refuse to attend formal meetings on their own
- Appeal on any formal decision.
Employees and performers who face allegation have the right to:
- Receive a copy of the allegations against them
- Respond to the allegations
- Appeal on any formal decision.
The company is obliged to:
- Have a formal grievance procedure in place
- Communicate the procedure
- Investigate all grievances promptly
- Treat all employees and performers who file grievances equally
- Preserve confidentiality at any stage of the process
- Resolve all grievances when possible
- Respect its no-retaliation policy when employees or performers file grievances with the company.
Employees and performers are encouraged to talk to each other to resolve their problems. When this isn’t possible, employees and performers should know how to file a grievance:
- Communicate informally with their direct supervisor (for example, the director of a play). The supervisor will try to resolve the problem. When employees and performers want to complain about their supervisor, they should first try to discuss the matter and resolve it between them. In that case, they’re advised to request an informal meeting. Supervisors should try to resolve any grievance as quickly as possible. When they’re unable to do so, they should refer to the Producer and / or Executive Director and cooperate with all other procedures.
- If the grievance relates to a supervisor behaviour that can bring disciplinary action (e.g. sexual harassment or violence), employees and performers should refer directly to the Producer and / or Executive Director.
- Accommodate the procedure outlined below:
The Producer and / or Executive Director should follow the procedure below:
- Ask employee to fill out a grievance form
- Talk with the employee to ensure the matter is understood completely
- Provide the employee who faces allegations with a copy of the grievance
- Organize mediation procedures (e.g. arranging a formal meeting)
- Investigate the matter or ask the help of an investigator when needed
- Keep employees and performers informed throughout the process
- Communicate the formal decision to all employees and performers involved
- Take actions to ensure the formal decision is adhered to
- Deal with appeals by gathering more information and investigating further
- Keep accurate records.
This procedure may vary according to the nature of a grievance. For example, if an employee is found guilty of racial discrimination, the company will begin disciplinary procedures.
If you have a complaint about us, we want to hear about it and we will do our best to put it right. We aim to deal with complaints fairly, efficiently and effectively, and ensure that all complaints are handled in a consistent manner. Strict confidentiality and proper discretion will be maintained, as far as is possible, to safeguard all parties.
Who can complain?
Anyone we engage with. This includes audiences, participants, freelancers, consultants, contractors, trainees, and other workers. If an employee wishes to make a complaint, they should instead follow the Company’s standard grievance process.
How to complain
Our aim is deal with any complaint as soon as possible. Many complaints can be resolved informally. In the first instance contact us and, if you feel able, speak to the member of the team with whom you have had contact or ask to speak to the relevant staff member, who will try to resolve the matter.
If you wish to make either an informal or formal complaint, please put your complaint in writing and send it to:
What Happens Next?
You will receive acknowledgement of your complaint within 5 working days, and you may be contacted to obtain any additional information that we may require to help us resolve the complaint.
You will receive a response to your complaint within 28 working days of its receipt. Any extension of this time limit requires your consent.
When dealing with complaints, we will ensure that:
- complaints are investigated thoroughly and objectively to establish the facts of the case, avoiding undue delay; and
- complaints are responded to fairly, proportionately and appropriately.
We will regularly review any lessons to be learnt from complaints and use that learning to inform future activity. And we will also clearly communicate to members of staff and volunteers that they should report any concerns they may have regarding our activities to a member of the senior management team.
If as a result of your complaint, disciplinary proceedings are taken against a member of staff, an internal procedure will apply. You will be informed that disciplinary proceedings have taken place, but as these proceedings are confidential, you will only be informed of the outcome of your complaint outside of any disciplinary procedure.
If a criminal offence is alleged, then the police will be informed.
We aim to provide the best possible working environment for all who work with us, one that is based on collaboration and respect to protect the dignity of all.
We expect all to recognise that each individual has a right to a working environment which encourages respectful, considerate, dignified and non-sexualised working relationships. It is the duty of everyone to treat their colleagues with dignity and respect and we are opposed to harassment and bullying in any form. Everyone is responsible for their own behaviour in this regard and any threatening, aggressive, bullying behaviour, harassment or unwanted sexual attention, language or behaviour may result in disciplinary action and will be treated as gross misconduct. In the case of non-employees, appropriate sanctions, for example: suspension or exclusion of contracts, will be taken.
This policy extends, and is made available to all, including employees, workers, freelancers, consultants, participants, contractors, trainees, volunteers, casual workers and at any place or venue where work is carried out and is deemed to be a work or training environment of Represent Theatre Ltd., to ensure support and implementation of this policy.
It is the responsibility of all directors, members of staff and people employed by Represent Theatre Ltd. to ensure this policy is upheld and clearly communicated to everyone. The company is committed to dealing with complaints of bullying and/or harassment in a fair and sensitive manner and endeavouring to ensure confidentiality with respect to any complaints. The policy applies to bullying/harassment not only to and by colleagues and performers but also to and by freelancers, consultants, participants, contractors, trainees, volunteers, casual workers or other business contacts to which an individual might reasonably expect to come into contact with in the course of their work.
Bullying is defined as behaviour or language that is offensive, intimidating, malicious, insulting, or an abuse of power through means that undermine, humiliate, denigrate or injure the recipient. Bullying can use either a single factor in the above definition or a combination where there is an intention to undermine or humiliate the recipient. Bullying can include conduct offensive to a reasonable person, e.g. oral or written slurs, physical contact, gestures, jokes, displaying pictures, flags/emblems, graffiti or other material which state/imply prejudicial attitudes which are offensive to others. Other examples of bullying behaviour include:
- Personal insults, name calling and sneering
- Persistent unjustified criticism and sarcasm
- Public or private humiliation
- Shouting at staff in public and/or private
- Instantaneous rage, often over trivial issues
- Continuously refusing reasonable requests without good reasons
- Intimidation and threats in general.
Harassment is defined as any conduct based on sex, race, disability, age, gender reassignment, sexual orientation, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, religion or belief or other status which is unreciprocated or unwanted and which affects the dignity of all at work, or creates an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for an individual. This extends to individuals who identify behaviour that they find offensive even if it is not directed at them and do not possess the relevant characteristic themselves.
It is important to remember that it is not the intention of the harasser but how the recipient perceives their behaviour, which determines whether harassment has occurred.
The unwanted conduct may consist of acts, requests, spoken words, gestures or the production, display or circulation of written words, pictures or other material. Harassment can also be of a sexual nature, and examples of sexual harassment include:
- Sexual gestures
- Displaying sexually suggestive objectives, pictures, calendars
- Sending suggestive or pornographic correspondence including text messages or emails
- Unwelcome sexual comments and jokes
- Unwelcome physical conduct such as pinching, unnecessary touching, etc.
- Deliberate exclusion from conversation or activities
- Abusive, insulting, or threatening language
- Demands or threats to obtain favours
- Threatened or actual violence
Effects of Bullying & Harassment on the victim
Bullying can have a physical, mental and behavioural impact on an individual’s character. Victims can lose their self-confidence and self-esteem and are at increased risk of suffering stress-related conditions that can trigger further trauma. Apart from the direct impact on a victim’s health, long-term exposure to bullying may also have consequences for the victim’s livelihood, through absenteeism and even resignation from work in order to avoid contact with the bully.
We are conscious of the effects that bullying and harassment can have on an individual and will take all reasonable steps to support them.
No form of intimidation, bullying or harassment will be tolerated. If you believe that you may have suffered any of these, you should refer to Represent Theatre Ltd.’s Grievance Procedure if you are an employee. If you are not an employee, then please refer to the company’s Complaints Procedure. If appropriate, it is worth considering the use of the informal options available in both these procedures as they are likely to produce solutions that are speedy, effective and minimise embarrassment and the risk of breaching confidentiality.
Everyone has a responsibility to respect the dignity of their colleagues and contacts in the workplace and to create and contribute to a work environment that is free from bullying and harassment or from conduct likely to contribute to bullying or harassment.
Directors and others in positions of authority have a particular responsibility to ensure that bullying, sexual harassment and harassment does not occur and that complaints are addressed speedily through the appropriate procedures. In particular, Directors should:
- provide a good example by treating all in the workplace with courtesy and respect
- promote awareness of the company’s policy and complaints/grievance procedures
- be vigilant for signs of bullying or harassment and take action before a problem escalates
- respond sensitively to anyone who makes a complaint/grievance involving bullying or harassment
- explain the procedures to be followed if a complaint/grievance involving bullying or harassment is made
- endeavour to ensure that anyone making a complaint/grievance is not victimised for doing so
- monitor and follow up the situation after a complaint/grievance is made so that the bullying or harassment does not reoccur.
We are aware that sometimes an allegation of sexual harassment will not be reported at the time it occurs, but much later than this. We will always take such an allegation very seriously and will handle the allegation in a way that is sensitive and fair to the individual who has made the allegation, anybody who has witnessed it and anybody who is being accused of sexual harassment. As a first step, we will discuss with the individual who has experienced the sexual harassment what outcome is desired in these circumstances.
Although we will always take these matters seriously and investigate accordingly, there is a time limit for action to be taken under Employment Law, through the Employment Tribunal system. This limit is three months after the incident took place (this limit applies to any incident not only those involving sexual harassment). If an allegation of bullying or harassment of any nature is made outside of this time frame, we will still take the matter seriously using our internal procedures to reach appropriate outcomes, but in most cases, there will not be an option to take action under Employment Law.
The company will provide copies of this policy to all employees and management, require all employees and management to have read and understood it, and maintain the values of dignity and respect in the workplace. The company is committed to communicating this policy and providing guidance in so far as is practicable to all relevant persons to whom it may apply.
This policy applies to all Represent Theatre Ltd. employees and artists, and everyone who applies for opportunities advertised by Represent Theatre Ltd.
Our commitment to equality
Represent Theatre Ltd. welcomes a diverse population of staff and artists and is committed to actively promoting equality and diversity in all our work. We aim to provide a performing, learning, teaching and working environment free from unlawful discrimination against applicants, staff and artists on the grounds of gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, race, colour, nationality, national or ethnic origin, marital status, maternity and parental status, age and actual or perceived religious or other belief.
We are thoroughly committed to the promotion of equal opportunities across all of our functions and practices including those of learning and teaching, employment, representation, decision making, and procurement and partnerships. Whoever you are, however you identify yourself, if you work or train with us, your identity is respected. We hope that in this part of our website you will find the information you need. If you do not, we welcome your feedback and comments.
- We aim to eradicate unfair and discriminatory practices, direct or indirect, however and whenever they may occur.
- We will organise the ways in which we plan and undertake our activities in order to ensure that we meet our responsibilities under the relevant legislation, including the UK Equality Act 2010. We will also apply the same principles as an employer and as a user of services provided by others.
- We will ensure that in our employment of all staff, whether permanent, short-term or freelance, we apply an equalities approach to recruitment and conditions of work. This will impact on documents and procedures including employment contracts, grievance and disciplinary procedures, other HR procedures and the working conditions that we control and influence.
- We will ensure that in our auditioning and training of artists, we apply a rigorous equalities approach. This will impact on documents and procedures including applications, audition venues, grievance and disciplinary procedures, other HR procedures and the working conditions that we control and influence.
- We will also work with our suppliers and partners to encourage them to apply the same principles, using their equalities approach as a criterion for procurement or partnership where appropriate. This will impact on our procurement policy and choice of partners amongst other areas.
- We understand that for equality to be achieved this policy needs to be made understandable to, and embraced by staff, artists, suppliers, partners and Board members.
- The policy is fully supported and welcomed by all employees and has been agreed by our Board.
- All staff and Board members have a responsibility to ensure that their own language and actions are consistent with the spirit as well as the contents of this policy.
- Overall responsibility for the implementation of this policy lies with Represent Theatre Ltd.’s Directors and Board, who will review this policy on an annual basis.
- To ensure that we are meeting the aims and the spirit of this policy we will:
- Discuss and review how well we are implementing this policy, and (adjust our practices/develop an action plan) where necessary
- Assess any significant new or revised policies and procedures for their impact on equality
- Embed equality and diversity into our development plans
- Supply all staff, artists and short-term contractors with a copy of this policy on their engagement with Represent Theatre Ltd.
- Ensure our employment practices and procedures are consistent with the aims of this policy.
The following is a statement of Represent Theatre Ltd.’s general health and safety policy in accordance with Section 2 of the UK Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974.
The purpose of this Health and Safety Policy is to:
- Declare the statement of general policy and provide the structure for managing Health and Safety;
- State the responsibilities at all levels of the organisation; and
- Summarise the key organisational health and safety arrangements, and reference associated processes and procedures.
Statement of general policy
Represent Theatre Ltd will ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health and safety of our employees and anyone else who may be affected by our activities, including members of the public/audiences. The minimum standard we will adopt will be compliant with legal requirements and appropriate codes of practice. However, our aim will be to fulfil the spirit of the law and not just comply with technical requirements. We will assess the risks to anyone who may be affected, including members of the public/audience, from all aspects of our work including rehearsals, performances and other projects in all locations, and will operate according to the procedures that best promote health, safety and wellbeing for all.
Through the development and implementation of adequate health and safety arrangement Represent Theatre Ltd will:
- Prevent accidents and cases of work or performance-related ill health by managing the health and safety risks in the workplace;
- Provide clear instructions and information, and adequate training, to ensure employees are competent to do their work;
- Engage and consult with employees/performers on day-to-day health and safety conditions;
- Implement emergency procedures – evacuation in case of fire or significant incident; and
- Maintain safe and healthy working and performance conditions.
Represent Theatre Ltd believe that Health and Safety within the workplace requires strong leadership from the board and the full cooperation of the entire company at all levels. All who engage with Represent Theatre Ltd, whether full time, part time, in training, occasional or contracted in any way, have a duty to themselves, their colleagues and the company to ensure that everyone can work within a safe environment.
Implementation of general policy
The Health and Safety policy and management system is applicable to all activities, other workplaces, performances and events, employees, students and others, as applicable and defined.
Our policies and systems will be implemented by:
- Providing available appropriate resources to implement the requirements of this policy;
- Taking health, safety and wellbeing into account when planning all activities, events and performances;
- Providing and maintaining equipment and systems of work that are carefully designed and monitored;
- Ensuring that optimum safety standards are complied with when using, handling, storing and transporting articles and substances;
- Ensuring that employees are provided with suitable and sufficient information, instruction, training and, where necessary, supervision to enable them to work safely;
- Ensuring that high standards of housekeeping are maintained throughout all premises where we are working and that means of access and egress are safe;
- Ensuring that, where its use is identified by risk assessment, personal protective equipment (PPE) is provided and used;
- Ensuring that specific arrangements are entered into when engaging contractors and subcontractors so that our policies are adhered to by them;
- Ensuring that adequate arrangements and facilities for welfare and first aid are provided;
- Ensuring that all employees and subcontractors comply with relevant legislation and co-operate with those responsible for enforcing it;
- Maintaining a system for the recording and investigation of all incidents;
- Ensuring that the responsibilities of employees and subcontractors with regard to health, safety and wellbeing are specified clearly in writing;
- Where possible, benchmarking with similar organisations;
- Undertaking periodic reviews of our arrangements as required to ensure continual improvement.
General responsibilities of all employees and performers
Employees/performers who authorise activities to be carried out must ensure that those undertaking the activity will be / are sufficiently trained, instructed and informed to enable them to do so safely and to avoid risks to their health. Where necessary, there will be a need to provide supervision, particularly in the case of young and inexperienced workers. In addition to any specific responsibilities, regularly safety inspections of the workplaces etc. should be carried out, under supervision, in order to ensure the required standards are maintained.
All Represent Theatre Ltd personnel/performers must follow the arrangements described in our policies, procedures and safe systems of work. Plant and equipment (including musical instruments etc.) should only be used/operated by those who are suitable trained and authorised, ensuring that all guards and safety devices are in place and working and using any personal protective equipment (PPE) deemed necessary. Anyone with concerns about health, safety and wellbeing matters, should raise these in the first instance with the Executive Director (Katy Beechey: firstname.lastname@example.org ).
Employees and performers may be involved in our risk assessment programme and are required to follow risk assessment controls and co-operate with those leading the process.
Employees are reminded that they have duties under Sections 7 and 8 of the current edition of the UK Health and Safety at Work etc. Act to:-
- take reasonable care of their own health and safety and that of anyone affected by what they do;
- co-operate with their employer to enable them to comply with their statutory duties;
- refrain from intentionally or recklessly interfering with or misusing anything provided in the interests of health and safety.
In the event of failure to comply with their legal duties anyone could be subject to action being taken against them, including disciplinary action, and by the enforcing authority.
The Creative Director and Executive Director
The Creative Director and Executive Director have ultimate responsibility for all matters of health, safety and welfare within Represent Theatre Ltd. This includes:
- Giving leadership and ensuring participation in the health, safety and wellbeing management system and generating awareness that health, safety and wellbeing issues are an important and integral part of role responsibilities.
- Making arrangements to ensure that the necessary resources are made available to allow effective implementation of the health, safety and wellbeing policy.
- Setting health, safety and wellbeing goals and objectives.
- Monitoring health and safety targets and programmes.
- Approving the Health and Safety policy and ensuring that the aims and objectives of the Policy are fully understood by all Board members and senior staff.
The Board are responsible for ensuring that the health, safety and wellbeing policy is effectively implemented, reviewed and enforced across all disciplines.
All employees have a responsibility to co-operate with all staff and performers to implement Represent Theatre Ltd.’s Health and Safety policy. Staff are responsible for the following:
- Co-operating with the company in health, safety and wellbeing matters.
- Having regard for their own safety and that of others, considering the aspects of each operation they undertake and how their acts or omissions may affect themselves, the environment or others.
- Following the accident/incident reporting procedures and alerting their manager/supervisor of any accidents and all defects, damage or hazards in plant, materials or work systems/environments.
- Notifying their supervisor / director of any assistance they require in discharging their health, safety and wellbeing obligations.
- Complying with the company’s policies and procedures and, where necessary, use devices and equipment provided for the safe completion of the task.
All staff are reminded that it is a criminal offence to intentionally interfere with or misuse anything provided in the interest of health and safety. It is also illegal to fail to co-operate with Represent Theatre Ltd to the extent necessary for it to comply with its legal obligations.
All performers have a responsibility to co-operate with directors, supervisors, training staff and support staff to implement Represent Theatre Ltd.’s Health and Safety policy. Performers are responsible for the following:
- Co-operating with Represent Theatre Ltd in health and safety matters.
- Having regard for their own safety and that of others, considering the aspects of each operation they undertake and how their acts or omissions may affect themselves, the environment or others.
- Reporting to their director/supervisor any accidents and all defects, damage or hazards in plant, materials or work systems/ environments.
- Notifying staff of any assistance they require in discharging their health and safety obligations.
- Complying with Represent Theatre Ltd.’s policies and procedures and, where necessary, use devices and equipment provided for the safe completion of the task.
All performers are reminded that it is a criminal offence to intentionally interfere with or misuse anything provided in the interest of health and safety. It is also illegal to fail to co-operate with Represent Theatre Ltd to the extent necessary for it to comply with its legal obligation.
This statement covers all with whom Represent Theatre Ltd. engages.
We strive to be welcoming and open, and we encourage everyone to be proactive in creating an environment where the safety of others is valued.
Everyone is responsible for their own actions and should be aware of the effect they have on others. Respect people’s opinions, beliefs, characteristics, differing states of being and points of view. Examine subtle and not so subtle prejudices. Be aware of the privilege you have in the working space, how much space you take up, and how that affects others. Do not make assumptions about the experiences and lifestyles of others; respect the names and pronouns of everyone and do not assume anyone’s gender identity, sexual preference, survivor status, health, beliefs, origins or economic status.
Represent Theatre Ltd. values all individuals, regardless of status or position and discrimination, bullying, harassment, victimisation, abuse or other inappropriate behaviour, including those not covered by law, will not be tolerated.
We will not tolerate behaviour which intentionally or otherwise:
- Creates feelings of unease, discomfort, embarrassment, humiliation and/or intimidation.
- Causes offense.
Such behaviour includes but is not limited to:
- Aggressive or violent behaviour (physical or verbal)
- The objectification of someone’s body (physical or verbal)
- Unwelcome physical contact
- Not allowing others to speak
- Vulnerability caused through nudity, undressing or costuming
- The pushing of people to share personal experiences to deepen artistic work.
This behaviour may be single incidents or a variety of repeated actions. It may be public and/or private. The actions may be verbal, non-verbal, written and/or physical.
Don’t be a bystander, everyone has a responsibility to stand up for each other, to call out inappropriate behaviour which includes anything that crosses your boundaries or makes you feel uncomfortable.
If you want to discuss or report any behaviour or incidents, you can contact any of the following people:
Frankie Parham, Producer: email@example.com.
Katy Beechey, Executive Director: firstname.lastname@example.org.