Told by an Idiot company values are as follows:

  • Revel in the live experience
  • Innovate and provoke
  • Find laughter in unlikely places
  • Include everyone

These are at the heart of our organisation and we ask everyone employed by us to embrace theses values. All our work, whether on or off stage, stems from these values, and, if anything we do doesn’t tick one, two, three, or all of these, then we question why we’re doing it.

They create a shared understanding of how we can most successfully work together and be the most creative we can be.  They invite us all to consider the reasons we’re working together and how we can best demonstrate these values in our actions and artistic content.  They create a shared language. 

The values also imply an expected behaviour in which everyone working with and representing Told by an Idiot has the responsibility to respect each other and support each other in creating a happy and safe environment in which to work together.  Told by an Idiot operates a zero-tolerance policy regarding harassment and bullying in any form.

This policy works alongside our other policies and processes including: Equal Opportunities, Whistleblowing, Grievance, Disciplinary and Complaints policies. Copies of these policies are available on request by emailing TBAI’s Executive Director at  [email protected].


Why do we have a Respect Policy?

Harassment and bullying can have very serious consequences for individuals, causing unhappiness, stress, and affecting health, family and social relationships. It may also affect their work performance and could cause someone to leave their job.

Bullying and harassment are behaviours that make someone feel intimidated or offended. Harassment is unlawful under the Equality Act 2010.

Who is covered by this policy?

This policy applies to all staff members, freelance workers, contractors, associates and anyone else engaged to work with Told by an Idiot, whether by direct contract with the organisation or otherwise.

It covers bullying, harassment and victimisation in the workplace and in any work-related setting outside the workplace, for example, business trips and work-related social events.

This policy is non-contractual and may be amended.

What is my responsibility?

Everyone is responsible for their own behaviour.

Individuals should:

  1. Treat everyone with dignity and respect
  2. Not bully or harass anyone
  3. Not victimise or attempt to victimise anyone who has made complaints of discrimination, or provided information to support a complaint
  4. Report incidents to their line manager if you think they are inappropriate, whether you are involved as an individual or as a witness.

Managers should:

  1. Ensure that staff reporting to them are aware of this policy
  2. Take action if you become aware that bullying, harassment or victimisation is happening

How Told by an Idiot can help

If someone else’s behaviour is creating concern for you when working for us, these are the steps you can follow (relevant contact details for named individuals below will be given to you when you start working with Told by an Idiot):

1. If you feel comfortable doing so, we encourage you to firstly directly address your concern with the individual(s) involved. This helps to foster an honest and open community and is often the fastest path to a resolution.

2. Contact your Line Manager or Company Stage Manager. They are there to listen and to help you find a way forward in the strictest of confidence.

3. Contact Told by an Idiot’s Artistic Director, Paul Hunter or Executive Director, Jenni Grainger. They will treat your concern with confidentiality and look for a resolution.

4. Contact Told by an Idiot’s HR representative on our Board of Trustees, Alison Porter.

5. Contact your Union Rep (Equity – 0207 379 6000 –

6. Contact Theatre Helpline on 0800 915 4617. This is a 24-hour confidential service providing advice and support for any theatre professional.

7. We also have a confidential email address at [email protected] that is only monitored by our Producer. You can raise any queries, concerns or ideas to this email address and the Producer will then redirect your query to the most suitable person, without breaking your confidence , to try to find a solution for you.

This policy is designed to demonstrate that the way in which we work together is of equal importance to the quality of the work that we create.

It has been developed through a consultation process with TBAI Trustees, staff and freelancers, led by Paul Hunter and Jenni Grainger, Told by an Idiot’s Chief Executives.

We will regularly review the Company Values and this policy to ensure they remain ambitious and relevant.  At the end of your engagement with the company we will ask you for anonymous feedback through an online survey as part of our commitment to ensure that we are an inclusive, respectful and supportive employer.

Appendix 1: Definitions


Harassment is defined in the UK Equality Act 2010 as unwanted conduct related to a relevant protected characteristic, which has the purpose or effect of violating an individual's dignity or creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for that individual.”

It may be persistent or an isolated incident or ongoing. Harassment includes any behaviour that interferes with individuals’ work; which causes stress, anxiety, fear or sickness on the part of the harassed person and behaviour which sexualises the workplace. Harassment based on a protected characteristic (age, sex, race, disability, sexual orientation, gender re-assignment, pregnancy or maternity, marriage or civil partnership, religion or belief) or harassment of a sexual nature, is unlawful and may render the persons responsible personally liable for legal action or even criminal proceedings.

Examples of harassment include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Unnecessary and unwanted physical contact ranging from touching to serious sexual or physical assault.
  • Derogatory or degrading comments relating to a person's ‘protected characteristic’.
  • Unwanted non-verbal conduct, including sexually suggestive gestures, staring and leering.
  • Unwelcome sexual advances, propositions or pressure for sexual activity including offensive suggestive remarks, innuendoes or lewd comments and suggestions that sexual favours may result in employment benefit (or that refusal of such suggestions may result in some form of detriment).
  • Continued suggestions for social activity outside the work place after it has been made clear that such suggestions are unwelcome.
  • Display, storage or circulation of offensive material (including pictures, objects, written materials or information held on computer).
  • Unfair treatment, which might include deliberate exclusion from conversations or events at work, for reasons based on a person's equality characteristic.
  • Comments which have the effect of isolating or humiliating a member of staff by reason of their equality characteristic.
  • Making gestures that mock a person's equality characteristic.
  • Offensive, hostile, intimidating, malicious or insulting behaviour, an abuse or misuse of power which is meant to undermine, humiliate or injure the person on the receiving end.



Bullying can be defined as offensive, intimidating, malicious or insulting behaviour that undermines, humiliates, denigrates or injures the recipient (emotionally or physically). Bullying behaviour is very similar to harassment, but it is not related to a protected characteristic (age, sex, race, disability, sexual orientation, gender re-assignment, pregnancy or maternity, marriage or civil partnership, religion or belief).

It is generally behaviour that can be identified as a misuse of power.

People affected by bullying often feel the matter appears trivial or that they may have difficulty in describing it.

Examples of bullying could include but are not limited to:

  • Persistent and unnecessary criticism (not including legitimate, constructive and fair criticism of an employee’s performance or behaviour at work)
  • Shouting at colleagues in public or private
  • Deliberate isolation by ignoring or excluding a person
  • Withholding information or removing areas of responsibility without justification
  • Spreading malicious rumours about a person
  • Blocking leave or training requests without reason
  • Deliberately setting objectives with impossible deadlines
  • Undermining a person’s self-respect by treatment that denigrates, ridicules, intimidates, demeans or is physically abusive

Harassment or bullying is not dependent on an intention to cause distress or hurt but is assessed by the impact the behaviour has on the recipient.

As a result, it is possible that behaviour that is acceptable to some staff members may cause embarrassment, distress or anxiety to others. Therefore, harassment or bullying relates essentially to the perceptions and feelings of the recipient.

The terms ‘bullying’ and ‘harassment’ are used interchangeably by most people, and bullying can be considered to be a form of harassment. 


Victimisation is defined as treating colleagues less favourably because of action they have taken, for example making a formal complaint about someone or giving evidence against a colleague.


Appendix 2: Arts Council England Dignity at Work Policy Statement

“We support the arts and cultural sector to pursue excellence in all they do. That includes how they manage themselves and the people that sit at the heart of our sector (1) . Our sector’s workforce should be supported to maintain and develop their skills, and they must be treated fairly, with dignity and respect. Arts Council England has its own Dignity at Work policy which focuses on harassment (2), bullying and victimisation. The funding we provide to grant recipients has terms and conditions with a mandatory requirement to comply with any relevant laws or government requirements, and it also requires organisations to comply with best practice in governance, reporting and operation. This includes, but is not limited to: equality and diversity, harassment and bullying, disciplinary, grievance and whistle-blowing and equal opportunities policies and procedures. It is also a requirement that grant recipients adopt policies and procedures to ensure the safeguarding of children and adults at risk of abuse with whom there is direct contact.

Failure to do so puts our investment at risk and could result in payments being suspended and grants withdrawn. It is the responsibility of those funded by Arts Council England to ensure that their policies and procedures are fit for purpose given the specific nature of their work and the manner in which it is conducted, and to provide copies of policies and procedures on request.

Relationship Managers are required to check that National Portfolio Organisations and Music Education Hubs have policies and procedures in place, while they are not expected to pass judgement on them. All grant recipients are encouraged to seek external, expert advice on developing appropriate policies and procedures that suit their structure and activity. Should any allegations, for example of harassment, bullying or victimisation against those working within funded organisations be brought to the Arts Council’s attention, appropriate action will be taken, for example in ensuring that grant recipients follow their own policies and procedures in investigating such allegations.

It should always be borne in mind, however, that while we have empathy for individuals and concern for grant recipients, the Arts Council’s primary role is as a funder. As such we have a responsibility to protect the investment of public money but do not have a regulatory role.”

(1) Including paid workers, volunteers and trustees/board members

(2) Including sexual harassment