Equity members form a cultural community that is of major importance to the UK in artistic, social and economic terms and Equity works to support them by negotiating their terms and conditions including fee structures with all kinds of employers and employer’s groups. Our 5,000 Student Members are also able to access information and advice to help prepare them for work in the industry.
Equity is the only UK Trade Union to represent artists from across the entire spectrum of arts and entertainment. Formed in 1930 by a group of West End of London performers, Equity quickly spread to encompass the whole range of professional entertainment. Today our membership includes actors, singers, dancers, choreographers, stage managers, theatre directors and designers, variety and circus artists, television and radio presenters, walk-on and supporting artists, models, stunt performers and directors and theatre fight directors.
The central activity of Equity is to negotiate minimum terms and conditions of employment throughout the entire world of entertainment and to endeavour to ensure these take account of social, economic and technological changes. We look to the future by negotiating employment agreements that embrace new and emerging technologies so satellite, digital television, new media, mobisodes, internet only productions, podcasting and so on are all covered, as are the more traditional areas.
We also work at national level by lobbying government and other bodies on issues of paramount importance to our membership. In addition, we operate at an international level through the Federation of International Artists which Equity helped to establish, the International Committee for Artistic Freedom and through agreements with sister unions overseas.