The below correspondence is posted here by kind permission from the Society of London Theatre
The Society of London Theatre (SOLT) is an organisation that works with and on behalf of their Members to champion theatre and the performing arts.
Last night, the Prime Minister announced that England will move to Plan B of the government’s Autumn / Winter plan which will come into effect over the course of the next week. The following measures will be introduced as part of Plan B:
- From Friday 10 December, legally mandating face coverings in most indoor public areas in England, including theatres and cinemas. There will be exemptions where it is not practical, such as when eating, drinking, exercising or singing.
- From Monday 13 December, advising people to work from home if they can.
- From Wednesday 15 December, introducing mandatory Covid status certification in certain settings. After successful lobbying, the passports will stay as proof of double vaccination or negative Lateral Flow test. There are limits to where vaccine certification will be introduced, as follows:
- all nightclubs, and other venues open after 1am with alcohol, music, and dancing;
- indoor unseated venues settings with 500 or more attendees where those attendees are likely to be in close proximity to people from other households, such as music venues or large receptions;
- unseated outdoor venues with 4,000 or more attendees where those attendees are likely to be in close proximity to people from other households, such as outdoor festivals; and
- any settings with 10,000 or more attendees, such as large sports and music stadia.
- The intention to move to daily testing for close contacts of confirmed cases (recently any close contact of a confirmed Omicron case had to self-isolate for 10 days) – the date of implementation of this is to be confirmed.
Guidance on GOV.UK will be updated to reflect these changes in the coming days.
Statement from SOLT & UK Theatre on Government Plan B measures and updated Media Briefing Notes
We have today issued a statement to the press on the Government Plan B measures. Please read here. You will also find our updated media briefing notes here.
On Tuesday, the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan and renowned photographer Rankin joined stars from the West End for a photocall as the Piccadilly lights were lit with portraits from the Performance by Rankin shoots. This display also officially launched our New Year Sale, where you can get tickets for £10, £20, £30, £40 and £50 to nearly 60 top London shows in January and February. Please see the photos and videos from the event here.
Many thanks to Landsec and Westminster City Council for making this possible, and to the participants from the shows.
Official London Theatre’s New Year Sale – SOLT Members’ Exclusive
General on-sale began at 10am on Tuesday and so far over 57k tickets have been sold. Day one sales were only 162 tickets down on 2019, despite the growing concerns around Omicron, and sales are still slightly up on 2019 overall thanks to a very strong priority booking period. We are continuing to promote the New Year Sale pre-Christmas and we have lots of activity planned for January.
If you have any questions regarding the New Year Sale, please get in touch with firstname.lastname@example.org.
Action: Tell us about your recruitment challenges – please complete our survey for employers
SOLT and UK Theatre are gathering data from employers on the current recruitment and skills gap challenges affecting the theatre and performing arts industry to help us understand the scale of the issue, and investigate potential solutions to support you. Our survey aims to identify:
- which roles are proving particularly challenging to recruit for and why
- the impact recruitment and retention issues are having on your organisation and employees
- how you want SOLT and UK Theatre to help with this issue
Please click here to take the employer survey. We are also running a survey for workers (please see item below).
Action: please share our theatre worker survey on recruitment
As part of our investigation into the impact of the pandemic on recruitment in the theatre sector, we are also keen to hear from theatre workers. Our workers’ survey is suitable for both employed and freelance staff, and those who no longer work in theatre. It aims to identify:
- any significant changes in the number of people working in theatre and performing arts now compared to Autumn / Winter 2019
- the key reasons people give for having left or considering leaving the industry
- the type of concerns people have when applying for theatre and performing arts jobs
We’d be grateful if you could share this survey internally via email, newsletters or intranet and on social media so we can reach as many theatre workers as possible. This survey is anonymous and focuses on non-acting roles (i.e. offstage roles).
Kickstart employment scheme: Funding application deadline is next week – England, Wales and Scotland Only
The Kickstart scheme is a Government programme which provides funding for employers to create new jobs for 16-24 year olds in England, Scotland, and Wales. It is a great way to take on a young employee on a short-term (six month) basis. Employers receive £1,500 per job as well as funding to cover 100% of the employee’s salary, National Insurance contributions, and pension contributions. The Government is accepting applications until midday Friday, 17 December and the job(s) can start any time up until end of March 2022. You can apply regardless of the size of your organisation.
For more information, including the criteria for your job and how to apply, visit the ‘Skills and Training’ section of the Advocacy page in the SOLT and UK Theatre’s Members’ Area. If you have any questions about this or other employment schemes please contact our Public Affairs Manager, Christopher.
USEFUL RESOURCES Coronavirus Recovery Guidance
- Coronavirus Recovery Updates and Guidance – for SOLT Members
- Coronavirus Recovery Updates and Guidance – for UK Theatre Members
- Media Briefing Notes
- See It Safely Toolkit
- Working Safely During Coronavirus – Guidance
- Coronavirus Government Guidance Library
Wellbeing and mental health support for you and your staff
- Theatre Helpline
- Wellbeing resources webpage
- Mental health and wellbeing webinars (TheatreMeansBusiness.info)
Jobs & careers in the sector
- Industry jobs – UK Theatre & SOLT
- Inclusive Recruitment Guide