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Joint Committee on Tourism, Culture, Arts, Sport & Media has published its Report on Safe and Respectful Working Conditions in the Arts

21 Sep 2022, 16.05

The Joint Committee on Tourism, Culture, Arts, Sport & Media has published its Report on Safe and Respectful Working Conditions in the Arts in which it makes a series of recommendations. This report comes on foot of research commissioned by the Irish Theatre Institute which found several issues relating to harmful workplace behaviours across the arts sector. 

With the aim of determining how best to deliver a safe and respectful working environment for all artists and arts workers, the Committee held three (3) public oral hearings and received written submissions from thirteen (13) stakeholders across the arts sector.

Speaking on the publication of the report, Deputy Niamh Smyth, Cathaoirleach of the Committee said “The Irish Theatre Institute’s SPEAK UP report represented a landmark step in highlighting the breadth and extent of the profoundly troubling issues facing artists, and particularly women in the arts.”

The Deputy said “We welcome Minister Catherine Martin’s engagement on a number of the issues raised by the SPEAK UP report. Every artist deserves to practice and disseminate their art across safe platforms where they are treated with the utmost dignity and respect. No matter the artform or practice space, this should be the baseline standard—not a special request.”

Deputy Smyth added “Effort needs to come from Government, from State agencies, and from all arts participants to enact the cultural change within the arts sector that the present evidence suggests is so urgently required. More must be done to fully safeguard all artists and arts workers—and particularly women, LGBTQIA+ individuals, disabled individuals, racially and ethnically diverse individuals, and those from varying socioeconomic backgrounds.”

 

Read the full Report on Safe and Respectful Working Conditions in the Arts  

 

The following recommendations were made by the Committee in relation to the topic:

1.     The Committee recommends that the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media establish an independent facility for the anonymous disclosure of experiences of harmful workplace behaviours across the arts sector.

2.     The Committee recommends the reform of all public arts funding, commissioning, and procurement processes to add a number of prerequisites for the allocation of such funding, including the obligation for funding recipients to adhere to anti-harassment and Dignity in the Workplace initiatives, to declare any allegations and upheld allegations of harmful workplace behaviour, to provide training on gender-based harassment and abuse, to report on gender-balance and maintenance of all relevant policies, and to agree to regular compliance checks.

3.     The Committee recommends that any such reform of all public arts funding, commissioning, and procurement processes must have clearly signposted sanctions attached for funding applicants or recipients in the event of violation of or non-adherence to relevant prerequisites.

4.     The Committee recommends the reform of all public arts funding, commissioning, and procurement processes in alignment with Recommendation #22 of the Citizens’ Assembly on Gender Equality, to the effect that “public funding to cultural, sports, arts, and media organisations should be contingent on: (a) a quota of 30% representation of women, and of men, on governing bodies by 2025, and 40% by 2030; (b), published plans to advance gender equality in their organisations; and, (c), annual reporting on progress toward agreed quotas on gender representation and funding”.

5.     The Committee recommends that an interdepartmental and interorganisational working group be established to consider and implement actions and long-term recommendations for the delivery of a safe and respectful working environment in the arts.

6.     The Committee recommends that the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media commission further research on the impact of harmful workplace behaviours in the arts, with a particular focus on those from varying socio-economic backgrounds, women, disabled individuals, LGBTQIA+ individuals, and racially and ethnically diverse individuals.

7.     The Committee recommends that the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media conduct a review of the Boards and leadership structures of all arts organisations under its remit with a view to mandating increased gender balance and increased representation across the socio-economic spectrum, and of disabled individuals, LGBTQIA+ individuals, and racially and ethnically diverse individuals in arts leadership and decision-making.

8.     The Committee recommends that the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media mandate all arts organisations under its remit develop, implement, and report regularly on effective and enforceable accountability solutions and procedures for the delivery of a safe and respectful working environment in the arts.

9.     The Committee recommends that the Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media engage with Cabinet colleagues and with disabled workers in the arts sector to resolve all issues arising from the interaction between arts funding and social protection supports insofar as this affects disabled arts workers.

10.  The Committee recommends that the Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media engage with Cabinet colleagues to initiate a review of all arts- and music-based further and higher education programmes and faculty in Ireland, with the objective of determining how issues of equality, diversity, and inclusion are considered therein with regard to both curriculum and staffing.

11.  The Committee recommends that the Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media engage with Cabinet colleagues to ensure that all protections under employment law are afforded to self-employed and freelance workers in the arts and cultural sectors.

 

Find out more about the work of the Joint Committee on Tourism, Culture, Arts, Sport and Media

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