Tell us the sexuality of your staff for arts funding, council insists
12th February 2019
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Tell us the sexuality of your staff for arts funding, council insists: Groups face pressure to disclose personal data as part of bid to increase diversity

  • Arts Council England will to ‘put pressure’ on arts groups to reveal personal data
  • The council already requires the organisations it funds to meet diversity targets
  • The move has been slammed as ‘unacceptable’ by data protection campaigners

Arts groups will face renewed ‘pressure’ to release data about the sexuality of their staff in return for financial support, their funding body has announced.

The Royal Shakespeare Company and the English National Ballet are among dozens of institutions that will be told by Arts Council England to disclose details about their employees as part of a bid to increase diversity.

The council already requires the organisations it funds to meet diversity targets to receive cash from its publicly-funded £1.45billion pot. 

The report added that while providing the breakdown won’t be a ‘legal obligation’, it is ‘in line with best practice guidance’ following advice from LGBT charity Stonewall. However, the move has been slammed as ‘unacceptable’ by data protection campaigners [File photo]

It demands information about the ethnicity, age, gender, and sexual orientation. 

However, in its most recent survey the funding body found that staff’s sexuality was ‘unknown’ in 58 per cent of cases, and that 9 per cent of employees preferred not to say.

The council said in its annual diversity report: ‘In future, we will put pressure on organisations which consistently report high levels of ‘unknown’ data, reminding them of their obligations under their funding agreements.’


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The report added that while providing the breakdown won’t be a ‘legal obligation’, it is ‘in line with best practice guidance’ following advice from LGBT charity Stonewall. 

However, the move has been slammed as ‘unacceptable’ by data protection campaigners. 

A spokesman for Privacy International said the data is personal and ‘staff should be clearly told that providing information about their sexual orientation is not required’.

The report also found the drive to improve diversity had stalled, with proportional representation of black and minority staff still below the average across the population.

The Royal Shakespeare Company and the English National Ballet are among dozens of institutions that will be told by Arts Council England to disclose details about their employees as part of a bid to increase diversity [File photo]

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