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Read important information on Equity UK membership, Equity UK eligibility requirements, Equity UK benefits, and Equity UK duties and responsibilities. Find out how to join the local Equity UK branch in your area.

"Equity is the only force in the entertainment world to bring some order to the very uncertain lives of performers." 
Judi Dench

Equity UK is the only trade union to represent artists from across the entire spectrum of arts and entertainment in the UK. Formed in 1930 by West End London performers, Equity quickly spread to include other professional entertainers - actors, singers, dancers, choreographers, stage managers, theatre directors and designers, variety and circus artists, television and radio presenters, walk-on and supporting artists, stunt performers and directors and theatre fight directors.

Equity's main function is to negotiate minimum terms and conditions throughout the entire world of entertainment, taking account of social and economic changes and emerging technologies which affect performers - satellite, digital television, new media. Equity UK also helped establisth the Federation of International Artists to work operate globally with the International Committee for Artistic Freedom and through agreements with sister unions overseas.
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  • Theatre: performers, stage management, director, designer or choreographer

  • Opera and Dance: singer, chorister, principal singer, guest artist , dancer

  • Singers: concert, session or pop singer

  • Variety and Circus: artist at engagements or gigs (clubs, festivals, street, pubs, children's entertainment, cabaret, storytelling etc); dancer at cabaret floorshows or troupe either in the UK or overseas; artists working on a long-term engagement (cruise ship, in a theme park, in a circus or a holiday centre etc)

  • Models: catwalk, photographic or other professional model

  • Television, Films, Commercials and Radio: performer or presenter

  • Walk-on artists: walk-on, supporting or background artist

  • Overseas Experience: professional work overseas


  • Pay and Conditions: Minimum terms and conditions across the entertainment industry and guidelines for work in areas where there are no representative bodies.
  • Equity Card: Universally recognised symbol of professional status and commitment
  • Representation for members individually or collectively in disputes with employers.
  • Help and Advice for members and/or their agents whether it be about contracts and conditions for working in the UK or overseas or areas of the business that are new to you.
  • Campaigns. Successful national and international lobbying of employers, governments and other bodies on a wide range of issues that affect you and the industry.
  • Royalties and Other Payments. Each year Equity distributes hundreds of thousands of pounds in payments for use of members’ work in television and film re-runs, sales of DVDs, videos and audio recordings, e.g. cast albums.
  • Contract Enforcement for outstanding royalties and/or residuals from productions made on Equity contracts and monitor developments in intellectual property rights.
    Legal Support in disputes over professional engagements including contracts and personal injury claims.
  • Bullying Reporting Line for members to call.
  • Tax and Welfare Support for free advice on National Insurance, tax, Jobseekers Allowance (JSA), welfare benefits and pensions.
  • Public Liability Insurance (PLI). Members automatically have up to £10 million in PLI.
  • Accident and Backstage Insurance. Members are automatically covered for accident and backstage insurance which operates overseas as well as in the UK if you are usually resident in the UK. There is also extra accident insurance for dancers.
  • Equity Members’ Personal Pension into which theatre, radio and tv employers pay.
  • Dance Passport provides Equity dancers and choreographers access to support and services from unions throughout Europe.
  • Job Information Service has up-to-date, accurate information on real, paid work opportunities across the industry.
  • Digs List held at head office.
  • Publications. The quarterly Equity Magazine has news and articles and we publish other publications, including Review of the Year, Guides, Diary and standard contracts.
  • On line Directories including actors, entertainers and creative team.
  • Equity Network is made up of thousands of creative people from every genre, age and many cultures.
  • Careers Advice from Equity's heavily discounted one-to-one Careers and Learning Advice Service in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
  • Workshops and Training including Equity resources on three CD roms which are free for members and student members. Equity also supports the Actors’ Centres which provide programmes of short courses in professional development and run workshops. There is training support for Equity Deputies and Equity Ambassadors, Equality Reps and members of committees and branches.
  • Health and Safety legislations are monitored by Equity, also giving out advise to the Health and Safety Executive, financially supports the Healthier Dancer Programme and provides H & S guidelines and advice for members.
  • Medical Support (BAPAM) helps with any performance related medical, psychological or dental problem, Members can also get discounts on the cost of BUPA.
  • Charities includ the Equity Benevolent Fund (EBF) and the Evelyn Norris Trust (ENT) to hlp with financial hardships, rest, recuperation and convalescence. Equity’s International Committee for Artists Freedom (ICAF) and the International Performers Aid Trust (IPAT) help performers and venues overseas. Members can also call on the Equity Charitable Trust for help.
  • Discounts are available to Equity members and Student Members on a wide range of goods and services.
  • Union Energy gives union members a good deal on mains gas and electricity.
  • Equity Credit Card offers competitive rates for members.
  • Agents' Information Service provides regular updates about Equity agreements and rates.
  • Legal and Welfare Support for breach of contract and personal injury cases.
  • Film and Television - Contract Enforcement where Equity investigates, recovesr and distributes royalty and residual payments to members.
  • One-to-One Advice in sessions with trained Careers and Learning Advisors


  • Black FilmMaker Film Festival
  • Blackpool Blitz
  • British Dance Edition
  • Catholic Stage Guild Annual Student Event
  • Comedy School's Funny Festival
  • Covent Garden May Fayre and Puppet Festival
  • Clowns International Convention
  • Edinburgh Festivals
  • Leicester Comedy Festival
  • Media Days in London and Manchester
  • Move it! Dance event
  • National Student Drama Festival
  • National Street Arts Conference and Showcase
  • Respect Festival
  • RSC Complete Works Young Actor Event
  • Royal Theatrical Fund's Summer Fayre
  • Showcall Showcase (both events)
  • Upstix - Rural Touring Theatre conference and showcase
  • Various student showcases
  • VOX 2006


Contact Information:
-London Office
Guild House
Upper St Martins Lane
tel: 020 7379 6000
fax: 020 7379 7001
Website: http://www.equity.org.uk

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Equity UK

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