ITC Advice Service 2023: A Year of Problem Prevention & Solving

ITC’s advice service has been very well-used over the past year and we have been logging the calls more closely to get a sense of what is happening in the sector. Obviously, our service is completely confidential but we thought it might be helpful for members to know some of the issues and trends we have been noticing.

We have been dealing with a wide range of employment issues including: parental leave, long-term sickness, disability, reasonable adjustment, access to work, performance management & capability, flexible working, immigration, dignity at work, compassionate leave, and safeguarding. For members who have had the bruising experience of dealing with disciplinary or grievance processes, you may be reassured to discover that you are not alone. We have seen an increase in employment-related disputes and a particular spike in situations where mental health is at the root of the problem. These issues are time-consuming and traumatic for all involved but, on the plus side, we have been able to solve most of these cases successfully, and none of our ITC members have been taken to court or employment tribunal this year.

In the wake of funding cuts and cost-of-living, we have seen an increase in restructuring and redundancies and have been able to assist members in dealing with these situations sensitively and humanely. Boards have also been consulting us more on strategic and governance issues.

Use of our Ethical Manager union agreements continues, and some members have been able to negotiate variations to maintain their use and enable a diverse range of activities. Most things are possible on the ITC/Union agreements provided the intention is to treat people fairly.

Recruitment has been difficult for almost all roles in the sector (except actors). Companies are having to re-advertise several times and consider interim arrangements.

On the finance side, we are still helping many members to claim Theatre Tax Relief. Recently, a few companies have had their claims refused. We are keen to hear from other members who have experience with this to gauge whether there is a particular problem emerging.

Generally, we are best able to help members if they get in touch early. There is no limit to how often you can contact the ITC advice service as a member and we will ask you lots of questions to get to the root of the problem, so you don’t need to know in advance what your legal position is in advance.

Call or email Monday-Friday, and we will always do our best to help. Most importantly, please provide us with a contact number and email address to respond to you.