Media and entertainment trade union BECTU has written a letter to several industry bodies within the UK TV and film sectors urging the introduction of a respect at work clause in contracts.
The letter has been sent to PACT, BFI, BAFTA, British Screen Advisory Council, Women in Film & TV, Raising Films and the Cinema Television Benevolent Fund, and highlights the disadvantages which freelancers face should they experience bullying and harassment, including sexual harassment.
BECTU says more needs to be done to support anyone suffering abuse within the workplace and that it intends to work with employers “to ensure that policies governing bullying and harassment for staff are both accessible and fit for purpose.”
It says freelancers are particularly unlikely to make a complaint as they “have no security of employment and time-limited engagements, long days and work on location”. BECTU says this “must present serious barriers for workers who in other circumstances would raise complaints about mistreatment in the workplace.”
The union has also asked TV and film employers to consider a welfare review after each production to help to bring any issues to the attention of production management.