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.
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.