Working Groups are peer-to-peer learning sessions, in which the participants, led by an expert, learn from each other experiences and share good practices to face common problems on specific issues.

WG #1: Know Your Law

Tallinn, June 2018

A review of the most recent initiatives following from the European pillar of Social rights and other EU initiatives, the session will also look at the state of play in member states in relation to posting of workers. Participants can also raise issues that they come across in their respective country. proposals and changes in European labour law of importance to managing work relations in performing arts organisations.

The Pillar of Social Rights contains a number of legislative and non-legislative proposals, among which a proposal to help working parents and carers manage their family life and their professional career, updates to the EU health and safety legislation,  a proposal for more predictable and transparent working conditions (former written statement directive and information directive), and a recommendation on access to social protection for workers and the self-employed.

In addition to new proposals, delivering on the Pillar also means to ensure the take-up of rights and the actual implementation and enforcement of legislation. For instance, the Commission has come forward with a proposal for a European Labour Authority, which will help to enforce rules on labour mobility in a fair, simple and effective way. The Commission will come forward also with a proposal on a European Social Security Number (ESSN) for all citizens.

Let by Ilka Schmalbauch, Deutscher Bühnenverein


WG #2: #METOO: How to deal with and eradicate issues such as sexual harassment, mobbing, etc from the workplace

Tallinn, June 2018

The 2017 #metoo campaign has played a crucial role in drawing attention to the reality that issues such as sexual harassment or mobbing are still a fact of life in the workplace. Employers associations should take the initiative to be instrumental in providing the necessary mechanisms and measures to eradicate these unacceptable behaviours from the workplace and from society as a whole.

In several member states initiatives are undertaken to raise awareness, establish mechanisms for prevention and offer support for victims.

According to European legislation (see above) sexual harassment means ‘where any form of unwanted verbal, non-verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature occurs, with the purpose or effect of violating the dignity of a person, in particular when creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment.’

Questions that can be addressed in this session are: What makes sexual harassment and dignity in our sector so specific? what about the boundaries between the artistic freedom and dignity? How do we as deal with this sometimes very thin line and how can one support those that are sexually harassed? What kind of policy can be taken in organisations? What in the case nearly-adults are taking part in the performance? And how can we work together with unions and other civil society organisations on this subject?

Led by Liesbeth Dejonghe, OKO


WG #3: Gender equality is not an option – Initiatives aimed at establishing gender equality in our organisations

Tallinn, June 2018

The European Pillar of Social Rights places great emphasis on its commitment to a Union which promotes equality between men and women as well as rights and equal opportunities for all.[1]

Gender equality and gender mainstreaming are topics currently being discussed in our sector in many ways in relation to employment, the challenges related to the nature of our work or issues related to ageing and opportunities.

In addition employers gender imbalances in management and on boards of organisations in the sector have also been observed. From the example of the Abbey Theatre in Ireland, where in 2016 the campaign #WakingtheFeminists took place, it is learned that cultural leaders are not always aware or take into consideration the gender imbalance in the programming (composers, writers, stage directors, …) and composition of the artistic teams and other people working with or for their organization. The theatre installed a Gender Equality Committee and developed a set of guiding principles on gender equality. In France, the social partners concluded an agreement on gender equality which adheres employers and workers to take actions where needed and which would reduce gender imbalances in the sector.

At European level, the social partners in the audiovisual sector initiated a framework of action on gender equality and started to monitor the state of play on the implementation of the action.So what initiatives can be taken in an organization to reduce gender imbalances? What would be the occupations or categories particularly to look at? What are the areas which are ‘vulnerable’? is an agreement a good option to achieve change? What would work in your opinion?

Supported by the expert involvement of the EIGE, this session further explores methods and tools that employers can use in their respective organisations as well as ways to raise awareness or indicators that sectoral associations may use.

Led by Alexandra Bobes, Les Forces Musicales

[1] Point 7, page 6 European Pillar of Social Rights


WG #4: Implementing Diversity in the Live Performance Sector

Organisations that embrace a diverse workforce and are inclusive to all tend to deliver better results, innovate more and are able to take better decisions. The European Pillar of Social Rights’ makes clear references to the need to achieve gender equality, equal opportunities and inclusion of people with disabilities in the workplace[1], while the European Commission’s commitment in favour of diversity and inclusion among its own staff was recently made clear by the publication of a Diversity and Inclusion Charter in July 2017.

Yet while the need to make diversity a reality in our organisations is indisputable actually achieving it in practice seems to be proving harder than it looked. Following on from the discussions about gender equality and equal opportunities that took place in the first BtS meeting in Tallinn, and on this occasion joined by managers from local artistic organisations, this working group will look at the strengths and weaknesses behind how diversity is being implemented in the live performance sector with the aim of identifying clear steps towards making workplace diversity a reality, offering a diverse programme and reaching out to diverse audiences.

Arts organisations based in Antwerp will present from the daily practice the challenges, hurdles, successes and approaches to diversity in their own respective organisations. Danielle … from ‘De Roma’ which is based in a part of Antwerp with a demographically highly diverse population in terms of ethnic background and age will present the experience of implementing diversity, including in its very large network of volunteers on which it relies.

Led by Danielle Dierckx, De Roma

[1] Chapter I, points 2 & 3, Chapter III, point 17