Bullying & Harassment: screen sectors act

Today the BFI published a set of guidelines and principles aimed at tackling and preventing bullying and harassment in the workplace. They have been developed by BAFTA, as well as other organisations including Ukie.

These guidelines and principles are timely given recent headlines, as we know, and whilst headlines are being made in the film and TV sectors, we believe they are really important for the games sector too. Bullying and harrassment has no place in the workplace and this initiative will prove invaluable to the sector, particularly as many of the companies in the games industry are small and do not necessarily have dedicated HR people or expertise in what can be a sensitive area. 

Whilst some of the language might sometimes sound "film set" specific, we have all tried to ensure that they are broad enough to be about screen industries including games. It's important that we remain focused on what the documents offer in terms of best practice no matter what context you are, as an employee or employer, working in. 

We have many different guides and need to knows, as well as a pack of standard contracts, to help companies act responsibly and according legal requirements more generally. 

But these guidelines and principles are designed to go a step further in order to help us all create safe, comfortable, inclusive working environments for the incredibly creative, unique, innovative professionals working across the games and interactive entertainment industry. They are also a work in progress and designed to be built upon.

At Ukie, we are adopting the principles and will be incorporating the guidelines in our Handbook. We can also help find members HR companies, expertise, legal help where they might need it. We are committed to making sure we have an inclusive, safe working environment, and that employees have somewhere to go, someone to talk to in confidence, if issues do arise. 

This is a step in the right direction but certainly not a cure all. If you would like to get involved in Ukie's wider equality and inclusion work, do contact us.

There is more to be done, you will be hearing about that soon, and we look forward to making sure these documents remain relevant as well as reviewed and iterated to suit the diverse needs of our sector. 

The principles: 

1. Everyone is responsible for creating and maintaining an inclusive workplace that is positive and supportive.

2. We recognise that harassment may be unlawful under the Equality Act 2010.

3. Those of us who are employers accept our responsibilities under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.

4. We do not tolerate bullying and harassment, including sexual harassment, and will ensure that processes are in place for the reporting and investigation of these serious issues.

5. We recognise that bullying and harassment can have significant adverse impacts on the productivity, long-term health and well-being of affected people and we will work to eradicate it. This will mean providing adequate protection for complainants and victims, and, where bullying or harassment is found to have occurred, taking appropriate action against bullies or harassers.

6. We value inclusivity, appreciate difference, welcome learning from others, and consider people equal without prejudice or favour. We build relationships based on mutual respect. We will all work to give and receive feedback in a constructive way, which we know will improve creativity and productivity.

7. We understand that reporting bullying or harassment can be intimidating. We will respect confidentiality where possible and aim to make the process of reporting clear and straightforward. If anyone comes forward to report behaviour which might amount to bullying or harassment, we will endeavour to investigate objectively. Individuals who have made complaints of bullying and harassment or participate in good faith in any investigation should not suffer any form of reprisal or victimisation as a result.

8. We will respect each other’s dignity, regardless of the seniority of our role in an organisation.