British Vogue was the first glossy magazine to agree to Equity’s “10-point Code of Conduct for the treatment of Models during photo shoots in studios and on location”. Some wonderful provisions of the code are stated below:
1. Working Hours and Break: “A working day shall consist of a maximum work period of ten hours Monday to Sunday…It is expected that the Model shall not be required to work more than five consecutive hours without a break of sufficient length…and that within a four hour working period at least one short break of no less than 15 minutes will be provided.
2. Respect and Dignity: The Model will be treated with respect and professionalism and all necessary steps will be taken to ensure that the safety, health, well being and dignity of the Model is protected and maintained at all times. No one will ask or impose upon the Model any action or activity which is dangerous, degrading, unprofessional or demeaning to the Mode.
3. Change of Appearance: The Model cannot be required to make permanent or long lasting changed to their appearance during a photo shoot, for example by cutting hair, unless such change is agreed by the Model at the time the photo shoot takes place.
4. Nudity/Semi Nudity: The general nature of the photo shoot will be explained in advance to the Model and their agent before the contract is agreed and any nudity/semi-nudity will be personally approved by the Model before the shoot takes place.
5. Changing area/Bathroom facilities: A private changing area will be provided for the Models to use. The models will have access to adequate bathroom facilities including hot water in studios and on location wherever it is reasonably practicable to do so.
6. Insurance and prompt payment: During the contract period the Model must be provided with appropriate insurance cover adequate to cover all liabilities and risks. These must include adequate cancellation insurance, public liability insurance, Employer’s Liability insurance, travel insurance…and any other necessary insurance. At the end of the contract period the Model will be paid promptly and in any even in accordance with the agreed payment terms.
7. Use of Models under 16 years of Age: Models under 16 years of age will not be used in photo shoots representing adult models. If a model is used who is under 16 years of age, there will be no nudity or semi-nudity required. The model will be accompanied throughout the photo shoot by a Chaperone that has a CRB clearance or parent. Any work will be in accordance with, where relevant an applicable with the Statutory Regulations that apply to Child Entertainers and Models.
There are 3 more requirements regarding meals, travel and transport and temperature/working conditions.
The fact that British Vogue signed the resolution is amazing. Kudos to them for being the first to take a step that needed to be taken a long, long time ago. Models are not treated with the same basic human respect that is given to others with different careers. The fact that it takes a signed resolution to ensure that models are treated with “respect and professionalism” is ridiculous. Every HUMAN regardless of their profession should be treated with “respect and professionalism”. If someone at a Fortune 500 company was not treated with “respect and professionalism” they would be able to voice their complaint and make a change within the company. If a Model voices the same complaint, she/he would most likely be fired. These provisions are necessary! It is outrageous that this needed to be signed to for a model to be alerted of and approve “any nudity/semi-nudity…before the shoot takes place”. Once they have completed their job, they should be paid. With this contract, any model who works for British Vogue will not have to worry about whether or not they will get payment. Like any other employee, they will get paid on time and respectfully.
The clause that was added to protect child models is equally as wonderful. These models deserve the same respect and accommodations given to child actors or singers.
Hopefully other glossy’s will follow British Vogue’s lead and thus give all models a safe and productive work environment. This resolution is a step in the right direction and British Vogue deserves applause for implementing it.