The Booksellers Association of the United Kingdom & Ireland Limited
Commitment to Professional Behaviour in Bookselling and Publishing
 
The BA has published A Commitment to Professional Behaviour in Bookselling and Publishing, written and endorsed jointly by The Booksellers Association, The Society of Authors, The Publishers Association and the Association of Authors’ Agents.

The Commitment is about all of our rights to dignity at work and protecting the dignity of everyone we work with.
 
The Commitment distils and unites diverse voices from across publishing and bookselling in a document which addresses freedom of speech, diversity and inclusion as a well as sexual and other harassment, discrimination, bullying and intimidation.
 
This Commitment signals the major trade organisations working together to make the industry a better, safer and more dignified place to work in which no abuse of power will be tolerated.
 
WHY NOW?
Prompted by the #Metoo movement and the shocking revelations of sexual harassment and abuse in the public and corporate worlds, The Bookseller magazine late last year conducted and published an industry survey into sexual harassment in the book trade. The results were alarming if, sadly, unsurprising, with many in the industry – especially those in relatively junior positions – reporting having experienced sexual harassment.
 
In an initial consultation process that brought together a representative group from across the industry, it quickly became apparent that as well as sexual harassment being a key and urgent issue to address, there were other universally shared concerns about behaviour and conduct within the workplace and within the wider social events and environments which characterise the world of publishing and bookselling.
 
HOW DOES THIS AFFECT BOOKSELLERS?
We strongly encourage booksellers to read this Commitment and share it with your bookseller colleagues.  If you don’t have a policy on this subject, do consider adopting it as your policy.  If you do have a policy, do consider making it available alongside.
The BA has aslo produced a shopfloor poster for booksellers, which distils the industry Commitment for display in bookshops and staff areas.
 
RETAIL TRUST HELPLINE AND PRATICAL SUPPORT
For practical support on any issues raised, the BA has contracted The Retail Trust to provide a support and well-being service for bookshop staff. The scope of the support offered by The Retail Trust is wide and impressive. A summary of their service is attached, and you may have already heard them speak at the BA Conference (and will get other chances to hear from them next year).

Below are the key documents:
 
If you have been affected by any of these issues, you can, as a BA Member, call the Retail Trust Helpline on 0808 801 0808 (republic of Ireland 1 800 911 810) or find free support material at www.retailtrust.org.uk/hub
 
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We do hope that this Commitment, and the conversations it starts, will encourage all of us in the trade to look to our own behaviour and that of others. We need to stand firm in our insistence on high standards of professional behaviour at all times, and put an end to bullying, discrimination and sexual and other harassment.