Pact’s TV Diversity Monitoring FormTemplate and Guidance

The particular equality and diversity monitoring methods used by an employer will depend on its size. Pact has drafted a template diversity monitoring form which can be used by members in monitoring the equality and diversity of their interviewees, staff and/or contributors to their productions. Whether using the Pact form or their own, employers must take full account of the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA) when they collect, store, analyse (and publish) information in order to monitor the make up of their work force. More on these data protection obligations below.

Film producers are advised to discuss diversity and equality monitoring with their project supporters and financers as they may have specific requirements and forms that must be submitted. As an example, under the BFI Diversity Standards, applicants for the BFI Film Fund must submit a diversity report at the end of their project. More information on the BFI Diversity Standards is available here.

Data Protection
Personal data: In collecting information about individuals for diversity monitoring, an employer will be processing information referred to as personal and sensitive personal data, and must therefore comply with the DPA. Personal data is data which relates to a living individual who can be identified from that data, or from that data in conjunction with other readily available information. Sensitive personal data is data that relates to an individual’s racial or ethnic origin, political opinions, religious beliefs, trade union membership, physical or mental health matters, sexual orientation/life, alleged or actual criminal activity and criminal records.

The pan industry guidelines on data protection and security are available here. They are designed to provide practical advice to assist in protecting the data of individuals and in turn protecting production companies from civil and/or criminal sanctions and reputational damage as the result of an unauthorised disclosure of personal or sensitive personal data. It is therefore important that all senior staff read these guidelines and that the necessary practical support and guidance is provided for all staff.

If you make decisions about how personal data is processed and collected it is likely that your company will need to notify the Information Commissioner for listing on the Information Commissioner’s register if you have not yet done so. This is a legal requirement and failure to keep registered details up to date is a criminal offence. See further information here.

Under the DPA, employers will need a legal basis for collecting and storing (or ‘processing’) personal and sensitive personal data. As many of the categories of information collected for monitoring (sexual orientation, disability information, ethnic origin, gender identity) constitute sensitive personal data, the safest basis for its collection is explicit consent from the individual. Individuals must be told and be providing their consent to: what information is sought, why the information is sought, how it will be processed and who will have access to it, information about special aspects that may affect the individual such as any disclosures of the information that may be made by the employer.

Safe Storage and Best Practice
Employers must comply with the DPA and the data protection principles to securely store the personal and sensitive personal data collected. Please see the industry guidance for recommended practices for security of personal data.

If employers have any concerns about the data protection issues surrounding diversity monitoring, they should speak to their company’s data protection officer, or contact Pact or their commissioning broadcaster.