The Stand Comedy Club commits to Fair Fringe charter to improve pay for 120 staff

Image credit: The Stand Comedy Club

The Stand Comedy Club has signed the Fair Fringe charter, pledging to improve pay and working conditions for its 120 employees that work during the popular annual music and arts showcase, the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

The Fair Fringe charter, part of the Fair Fringe campaign launched in July 2017, aims to tackle the potential exploitation and poor working conditions experienced by employees during the 25-day festival. To date, trade union Unite has been heavily involved, alongside Edinburgh residents, current and former Edinburgh Festival Fringe staff and other interested parties.

As part of this agreement, all staff employed by The Stand Comedy Club will receive the voluntary living wage rate of £9 an hour, effective from August 2019, regardless of employees’ ages. This is applicable for those employed across The Stand Comedy Club’s Edinburgh, Glasgow and Newcastle venues, as well as for additional staff taken on for the duration of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, based at New Town Theatre.

Under the charter, all employees will also be entitled to paid rest breaks, minimum hours contracts rather than zero hours contracts, full payments for trial shifts, paid transport home after 12am, 100% of any tips earned and trade union access.

The charter also includes an anti-sexual harassment policy and a consultation on rota changes.

Mike Jones, managing director at The Stand Comedy Club, said: “The Stand is proud to be an accredited living wage employer. People are at the heart of our business; we strive to do the right thing by our staff, the artists we work with and the audiences that come to see our shows.

“Offering good terms and conditions to our employees makes business sense; we have a hard-working and loyal team, many of whom have worked for us for a number of years.

“Our remarkably low staff turnover is in part due to the fact that we offer some of the best pay and conditions in the hospitality sector.”

Bryan Simpson, organiser at Unite, added: “Our members at The Stand and New Town Theatre have campaigned hard to get here; we are delighted that they will now receive some of the best pay and conditions in the sector.

“This sends an important message to employers across the industry and in particular at the [Edinburgh Festival Fringe] that they can and should treat [employees] with the respect they deserve, because they are the backbone of [businesses] and should be rewarded accordingly.”