Guardians Programme builds momentum


An initiative introduced by the Old Vic following allegations of sexual harassment and assault made against Kevin Spacey, the Guardians Programme involves businesses appointing employees as trained 'Guardians' to offer support and confidential advice to those who have concerns about behaviours or culture in the workplace.  The purpose is to help bring such issues to the attention of HR and management.  This initiative has since developed into a Guardians Network, which now includes not only organisations from within the arts and media worlds, but has also attracted interest from the public sector and, more recently, city law firms.

Giving employees the ability to share concerns outside of their normal reporting lines, this low cost idea has had great take-up and looks set to spread further across different industries.  A great idea, which could be an effective way of working towards creating a safe and secure workplace for all.

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‘We devised the Guardians Programme in dialogue with our staff to enshrine our values and workplace culture. The idea is simple and therefore easy for others to implement and benefit. It’s heartening that so many have already done just that. And it is incredible to see the commitment in both the arts and other sectors in embracing a solution that helps reframe how our workforces share concerns, escalate issues, and enjoy working together respectfully.’ Kate Varah, Executive Director, The Old Vic
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