Having a more diverse and inclusive music industry is one of the sector’s top priorities. By
bringing together a wider range of perspectives, experiences, and ideas, we hope to help to foster greater innovation and creativity.
Music should be welcoming to all. However, according to the 2023 Musicians’ Census, which draws on data from almost 6,000 musicians, 62% of respondents have either experienced or witnessed some form of discrimination.
Recent studies, including those from Black Lives in Music and Attitude is Everything, indicate that barriers and discrimination exist in music, across the intersections of gender, ethnicity, disability, and socio-economic status. This is unacceptable, and we are committed to taking further action as demonstrated by our 10-Point Plan to boost diversity and our Five P’s action plan.
However, there is more to be done, and the next Government can play a pivotal role in helping us achieve our ambitions. Improvements can be made to general policy and programmes such as access to work and Universal Credit, but targeted approaches can be made too. If our music industry is to tell the story of modern-day Britain, then it needs to be representative of modern day Britain too.
Extend Limitation Period For Discrimination Or Harassment Claims Under The Equality Act 2010
Currently, individuals have only three months to make a claim regarding discrimination or harassment.
Increasing this to six months provides a more reasonable timeframe for affected individuals to seek justice and protection under the law.
Alongside other reforms to the Equality Act 2010, this extension will ensure that freelancers enjoy the same protections as other employees. Find out more here.
Expand Pay Gap Reporting
Under the Equality Act 2010, gender pay gap reporting is only mandatory for organisations with 250 or more employees. The Act should be amended by reducing this threshold and extending it to include ethnicity or disability pay gap data to help create more inclusive and equitable workplaces.
Commission An Independent Review Into How The Metropolitan Police and Local Authorities Respond To Black Music Events
The Metropolitan Police’s Form 696 targeted Black artists and music fans, putting pressure on venues to cancel shows based on the genre or ethnicity of the artist. Form 696 was scrapped in 2019, but the new ‘voluntary partnership approach’ serves as its equivalent in all but name. The Government should work with the Metropolitan Police and other responsible authorities to revise its approach, and a national independent review into this matter is needed.
Review Impact of Access to Work On Those Working In The Music Industry With A View To Ensuring Claimants Receive Support Within Four Weeks
The Access to Work scheme supports disabled individuals in finding and retaining employment. Many individuals require support and disability-related accommodations to participate in the music industry or pursue their artistic endeavours. However, lengthy delays and a processing period of up to six months for Access to Work claims are increasingly common and must be rectified.
Extend Shared Parental Leave To All Self-Employed Workers, Also Ensuring Equal Access For Parents Taking Adoption Leave
Currently, self-employed parents have no access to shared parental leave and pay, as the current system only provides Maternity Allowance for self-employed mothers, leaving the entire burden of childcare on them. This inflexible system perpetuates gender-stereotypes and is holding back equality in the music industry. Find out more here.
UK Music Activity
UK Music Diversity Taskforce
The UK Music Diversity Taskforce advises UK Music and it’s members on issues around inclusion and diversity across the industry. Find out more here.
UK Music Diversity Report
Every two years UK Music under takes a workforce survey and produces its renowned Diversity Report. Find out more here.
The Five Ps: The Music Industry’s Action Plan
The action plan maps out five key areas that UK Music and the UK Music Diversity Taskforce hope the music industry can use as a framework to deliver enduring results for diversity and inclusion. Find out more here.
This is just a snapshot of the work that UK Music does on diversity and inclusion. Find out more here.
Creative Industries Independent Standards Authority (CIISA)
UK Music and its members support the Creative Industries Independent Standards Authority (CIISA). The purpose of CIISA will be to uphold and improve standards of behaviour across the creative industries and to prevent and tackle all forms of bullying and harassment, including bullying and harassment of a discriminatory nature.
The authority is still in the process of being set up but more information on its purpose and the services it plans to set up can be found here. If you need immediate support contacts can be found below.
Musicians’ Union’s Safe Space
The Musicians’ Union’s Safe Space is a resource responding to any individual experiences of harassment. This resource is open to all in the music business, not just Musicians’ Union (MU) members. MU provide a clear, independent and universally accessible way to raise any personal experiences to experienced responders.
If you work in music and have faced any harassment issues in your workplace, whether you are a musician or working in a music business capacity, you can contact the MU for confidential advice and support.
More information on the help the MU offers is available. Visit the Musicians Union Harassment & Discrimination page (link opens in new window) or Email the Musicians Union safespace@theMU.org for advice or to make a report (anonymously if preferred). No action will be taken on your behalf without your prior consent.
Musicians’ Union and Incorporated Society of Musicians’ Code of Practice
The Musicians’ Union and Incorporated Society of Musicians’ Code of Practice aims to eradicate bullying, harassment and discrimination within the industry and promote a positive working culture. See here.
Organisations and Campaigns
Help Musicians have a helpline that supports those suffering bullying and harassment within the UK music industry. Anyone within the UK music industry experiencing bullying and harassment can call the helpline on 0800 088 2045.
ACAS provide impartial advice on process and procedures for reporting harassment in the workplace – visit acas.org.uk/sexual-harassment.
Black Lives In Music is working to dismantle structural racism within the music industry. Find out more here.
Black Music Coalition is dedicated to eradicating racial inequality and establishing equality and equity for Black executives, artists and their communities within the UK music industry. Find out more here.
PRS Foundation’s Power Up is an ambitious, long-term initiative which supports Black music creators and industry professionals and executives, as well as addressing anti-Black racism and racial disparities in the music sector. Find out more here.
ESEA Music is a community for East Asian and South East Asian music artists and music industry professionals based in the UK. Find out more here.
The Trans Creative Collective (TCC) is a community set up by, and for, Trans+ creators and allies to connect with one another in a safe and inclusive environment. Find out more here.
Attitude is Everything, connects disabled people with music and live event industries to improve access together. Find out more here.
Parents and Carers in Performing Arts (PiPA) is a nationwide organisation that raises awareness of the unique challenges facing parents and carers in the performing arts. Find out more here.
Women In CTRL is a non-profit music development organisation on a mission to advance gender equality in the music industry. Find out more here.
There are many more organisations and campaigns making change happen across the music industry.