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Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Policy

Organisations within the music industry must have robust EDI policies in place that make clear commitments to support groups who are more likely to experience discrimination and who are underrepresented. The MU has an EDI policy in place and an action plan.

Last updated: 25 March 2022

Policy statement

The MU is committed to achieving equality in workplaces, in our trade union and across wider society.

A fundamental objective of the MU is to work towards equality for all by actively opposing prejudice and discrimination on the grounds of age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex, sexual orientation and socio-economic background/status.

The principles of equality, inclusion and fairness are central to our legitimacy as a Trade Union that campaigns for the fair treatment of musicians and the right for all musicians to be treated with dignity and respect.

This policy is fully supported by the MU’s Executive Committee (EC) who has given clear direction and leadership that promoting equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) is a priority.

The commitments in this policy underpin all other MU policies.

Policy aims

The aim of this policy is to create a Trade Union and a music industry that: 

  • Enables every musician to reach their full potential free from discrimination, victimisation and/or sexual harassment
  • Is truly reflective of society and where fair and equal representation is standard
  • Provides equality of access to opportunity
  • Makes decisions that are fair, based on merit, competence and potential
  • Takes account of individuals' experiences and needs
  • Does not tolerate discrimination, sexual harassment or victimisation
  • Encourages collective responsibility for EDI to create an industry wide approach to deliver sustainable and long-term change

The MU understands that to achieve these aims we need to address the root causes and impacts of stereotyping, prejudice, discrimination, sexual harassment and victimisation as well as socio-economic disadvantage.

Through this policy we also aim to:

  • Recruit and retain members, committee members, activists and supporters that reflect the diverse communities in which we operate
  • Continue to build a Trade Union that is accepting of difference, inclusive and where people feel safe, engagement with members is apparent and the contributions of all are encouraged, valued and respected
  • Mainstream EDI into every aspect of our work including collective bargaining, campaigning, marketing and events so that we can represent and meet the needs of all members
  • Make our commitment to EDI clear in our working with members

Policy implementation and monitoring

To translate this policy into action we will:

  • Consult, engage with, and learn from our members in the development and delivery of an Equality Action Plan (EAP) and on our work more broadly
  • Create evidence-based policies and campaigns that will improve the lives of members
  • Implement tailored positive actions to respond to EDI issues
  • Create strategic partnerships with organisations who are committed to our EDI principles and achieving our goals
  • Monitor our policies, practices and procedures and workplace cultures on EDI issues
  • Provide regular EDI training to our staff and committee members to enable them to carry out this policy and embed EDI principles into the work of the MU
  • Communicate this policy to all of our members so that they are aware of our commitment and their obligation to operate in line with this policy
  • Challenge discrimination, victimisation and sexual harassment through education, advocacy and taking action against organisations and individuals that discriminate against or sexually harass members
  • Take appropriate action when incidents occur which breach this policy
  • Regularly monitor and review this policy to track progress, identify challenges to delivery, devise ways to overcome these challenges, and evaluate the relevance and effectiveness of the EAP
  • Take action to address any inequalities that are identified through the implementation of this policy

Roles and responsibilities

Each and every individual involved in the MU needs to play their part in translating this policy and the EAP into practice.

Specific responsibilities are attributed to:

MU Executive Committee 

  • Own and monitor implementation of this policy
  • Approve the EAP
  • Consider EDI in all decision making

MU General Secretary

  • Take responsibility for delivery of this policy
  • Provide strong leadership on EDI
  • Monitor progress of the EAP
  • Role model behaviour that exemplifies this policy and challenge those they manage to do the same
  • Challenging diversity in other industry organistions

Assistant & Deputy General Secretaries

  • Integrate equality into the work of the MU
  • Ensure that staff, members, consultants and third parties are aware of this policy and understand it
  • Ensure staff and members are fully aware of their individual and collective responsibilities under this policy
  • Investigate and deal promptly with any incidents or individual behaviours that contravene this policy
  • Role model behaviour that exemplifies this policy and challenge those they manage to do the same

Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Official

  • Actively work with and support all regions and departments to implement this policy and assist in the delivery of the EAP
  • Assist regions and departments to build specific actions into their goals that contribute to the delivery of this policy
  • Provide equality training and other development opportunities to build EDI competence amongst committees and the wider membership
  • Create and drive delivery of the EAP in consultation with the Equalities Committee
  • Produce timely and accurate diversity reports on membership and committees
  • Create and deliver initiatives in consultation with the Equalities Committee that will translate this policy into action
  • Communicate regularly with MU staff and members about equality issues in a way that keeps this policy and the EAP live and central to our mission

Heads of Department

  • Ensure that staff, members, consultants and third parties are aware of this policy and understand it
  • Work with the EDI Offcial to embed the EAP into their sector or region
  • Communicate regulary with the EDI Official on any EDI issues in their sector or region
  • Role model behaviour that exemplifies this policy and challenge those they manage to do the same

EDI Committee

  • Advise on issues and matters relating to EDI and make recommendations to the EC
  • Create the EAP in consultation with the EDI Official
  • Help identify discriminatory practices and areas of inequality and bring these to the attention of their regional organisers or EDI Official
  • Recruitment of new members
  • Act as EDI champions and role model behaviour that exemplifies this policy and challenge other members to do the same
  • Actively promote the work of the Equalities Committee to the wider membership and music industry

All MU members

  • Should operate in line with this policy when representing the MU and not to bring the MU into disrepute
  • Treat others with dignity and respect
  • Report discrimination, sexual harassment, and victimisation that they experience or witness
  • Contribute to creating an inclusive music industry that values difference
  • Support, promote and engage with the work of the MU’s Equality Committee

Service providers, contractors and third parties

The choices the MU makes regarding who we work with and support have an impact on our members and on wider society and must be aligned with the MU’s principles and values.

The MU will seek to work with and actively support organisations and individuals that align with this policy and the MU’s Equality Action Plan.

The MU will not work with or support any organisation or individual that:

  • Incites violence or discrimination against a particular group
  • Uses dehumanising language to describe a particular group
  • Distributes negative misinformation targeting a particular group
  • Promotes intolerance of a particular group in any way

A copy of this policy will be given to all contractors, consultants and third parties and an assessment of their commitment to complying will form part of the decision to work with them or not.

The MU welcomes debate, difference of opinion and protest and fully understands that tensions can arise from different political and social perspectives. The MU supports freedom of speech and thought but not when this is abused to diminish the freedoms of others.