4 February 2020

Congratulations to the Old Vic Team for passing meaningful “Guardian’s Network” Scheme

Congratulations to the the Old Vic’s management for pushing forward the “Guardian’s Network” which now has  50+ organisations involved to ensure workplace cultures are strong and positive.

The ingenuitive reporting scheme, set up by London’s Old Vic, aims to tackle inappropriate behaviour in the workplace. 

“Guardians...”, Kate Varah at the Old Vic explains, “are trained members of staff who act as confidential sounding boards…[who] demystify the formal processes and explain just how simple it is to seek support.”

Under the system, staff are encouraged to raise concerns about workplace culture or inappropriate behaviour to a group of trained peers, as an alternative to individuals not wishing to follow more traditional reporting lines. In addition, the Old Vic’s network meets three times a year for pro bono legal training and to share best practice.

A “gap between a quiet conversation with a friend to flag something that doesn’t feel right, and formally raising a concern with HR, line management, and unions” as Varah articulates, underscored the need for such a scheme. 

After only two years of the Old Vic reaching out to work with Law Firm Lewis Silkin and Joanna Nicolas, a safeguarding specialist, the network of organisations adopting similar methods is impressive. These include both companies inside and outside the performing arts industry. The Almeida Theatre, English National Ballet, the Society of London Theatre, Coutts bank, Tate and recently Parliament to name a few.

For more information about the Old Vic: LINK

Further reading: THE TIMES

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