Equity Contracts

Independent Theatre Council A key aim of the Network is to get more Arts Council funded dance companies using Equity contracts.

It is the right thing for dance companies to do and means that you as dancers are protected at work.

We need the wide community of dancers to support this goal and get involved in promoting the use of union contracts.


Many people consider the Equity weekly rate for dancers in live performance as £458. However, this rate is not a figure plucked from nowhere: it is the rate negotiated by Equity and the Independent Theatre Council (ITC) for use alongside the Ethical Manager Agreement.

The Ethical Manager Agreement is available for every dance employer to use, as long as they are members of the ITC and are willing to employ people on the terms set out in the Agreement. The ITC is an employer group, the equivalent of a trade union for management. They provide guidance for management and being a member of the ITC demonstrates ethical practice.

It’s more common for dance employers in the subsidised sector just to use the £458 a week rate without using the full Equity Agreement. As a dancer you may therefore miss out on terms and conditions which improve your working life and protect you.

Using the full Ethical Manager contract means that:

–     You receive holiday pay

–     Breaks and working hours are assured

–     Your employer will contribute to the Equity Pension Scheme

–     You have certainty over what will happen if you are sick or injured

–     You receive time off for any overtime worked

–     You’re covered by a contract which is monitored and approved by Equity


When employers use the ITC Ethical Manager Agreement it demonstrates that they use contracts that have fair terms and conditions, have a track record of good management practices, are financially secure and fully insured.

Not enough Arts Council subsidised dance companies use union agreements such as the ITC Ethical Manager Agreement.

This is something we want to change.