On Wednesday 14 February the BFI and BAFTA released new anti-bullying and harassment principles and guidance, developed after consultation with a number of industry bodies – including Directors UK.
We welcome this initiative as a positive first step and believe industry partners must continue to work together to ensure victims of bullying and harassment can speak out without fear of retribution.
The Set of Principles include a shared responsibility to respect others, adopt a zero tolerance approach to bullying and harassment, and adhere to the laws around equality and health. These principles will be incorporated into the BFI’s diversity standards, and can be downloaded here.
Meanwhile the Guidance, developed after consultation with multiple organisations including Directors UK, is intended to provide clear information to employers and workers. The guidance advises them of their legal rights and responsibilities and helps employers to develop their own policies for tackling bullying and harassment.
According to a statement from the BFI and BAFTA, “Specific measures will be recommended including appointing two designated workers on and off set (preferably from each gender) to be trained to handle issues and allegations, ensure workers understand their rights and know how to seek help and support”, amongst other suggestions. This guidance will be reviewed every six months, and will also be incorporated into the BFI’s diversity standards.
Responding to the news, our CEO Andrew Chowns commented: “This is a positive first step but there is more to do to effect a dramatic cultural shift within the industry. Victims and witnesses to bullying and harassment need to feel able to come forward without the risk of retribution and with confidence that, if their complaint is upheld, appropriate action will be taken. We look forward to continuing to work with our industry partners in the coming months.”
Wednesday’s announcement also included news of a new Film and Television Support Line to be launched in April. The support line, which is to be operated by the Cinema and Television Benevolent Fund (CTBF) and Production Guild, is intended to be a source of independent and confidential help for those affected by bullying harassment issues.
For more information on the Set of Principles, Guidance, and Film and Support Line, read a full press release here.