News August 10, 2018

New Code released for discrimination, sexual harassment and bullying for live & screen industries

Christie Eliezer
Contributing Editor
New Code released for discrimination, sexual harassment and bullying for live & screen industries

Live Performance Australia (LPA) and Screen Producers Australia (SPA) have issued a code covering discrimination, harassment, sexual harassment and bullying.

LPA covers all facets of the $1.43 billion (as of 2016) live industry, of which contemporary music plays a major role.

Screen Producers Australia covers feature film, television and interactive production.

The mirror codes, which come into effect on September 3, saw the two peak associations work with the Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance (MEAA).

Read: The Code of Practice to Prevent Workplace Discrimination, Harassment, Sexual Harassment and Bullying.

As far as the live sector is concerned, it covers commercial and independent producers, promoters, performing arts companies, all venues from stadiums to regional music clubs, festivals, ticketing firms, exhibition companies and technical suppliers, of all sizes.

The Code – which is not legally binding – covers everyone from every tier of executives to workers of every kind in the sector, including volunteers, people doing work experience and outside contractors.

It detailed and simple, looking at the definitions of discrimination, harassment, sexual harassment, workplace bullying, vilification and victimisation.

The Code looks at the legal obligations of employers, shared responsibility in maintaining a safe workplace and how to handle complaints and investigations.

It outlines what a criminal offence is, and provides a number of case studies.

Criminal offence varies from state to state. But it includes physical assault, sexual assault, stalking or cybercrime through phone, text messages or online.

LPA chief executive, Evelyn Richardson said, “It’s important for our industry to have consistent standards and practices that provide safe and respectful workplaces for all our workers.

“While many of our members already have policies and procedures in place, we see a vital role for providing an industry code and tools that can be implemented by companies irrespective of company size, capability or resources.

“This code is a part of our commitment to driving meaningful and long-term cultural change.”

Matthew Deaner, CEO of Screen Producers Australia was as emphatic about the need for such a code.

“Everyone has the right to a safe workplace,” he stated. “The screen industry code will provide producers with practical tools to create a safe and positive work environment for all workers in our industry.

“We are united and committed to this cause.”

“These changes are necessary to ensure that everyone in the industry gets the message about making our workplaces safe and inclusive for all,” added MEAA chief executive Paul Murphy.

“The processes in the new policy are crystal clear and will lead to better workplaces throughout Australia’s entertainment industry.”

Last month the music and screen industries collaborated to call on the Federal government to evolve Australian content quotas.

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