Code of conduct

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— Why?
— For whom?
— OBV prevention policy
4. ADVICE AND ASSISTANCE: Where can you turn in case of inappropriate behaviour?



Opera Ballet Vlaanderen is a house where we at all times wish to play together, pioneer, and inspire one another, in all of our departments. We strive to ensure an optimal working environment for all employees and freelancers who work for us. This collaboration is based on trust, integrity, and transparency in an atmosphere of respect. We expect all employees to recognize that every individual is entitled to a respectful, dignified, and equitable work relationship within which he/she/they can feel safe and grow.

This code of conduct sets forth what we regard as appropriate and inappropriate behaviors. It will serve as our guideline for appropriately responding to inappropriate behavior in our house. We describe the conduct with which we together can create a positive and stimulating working environment at Opera Ballet Vlaanderen, and in this document, we also spell out what constitutes inappropriate conduct, such as bullying, violence, discrimination, and unwanted sexual behavior. Opera Ballet Vlaanderen wishes to promote a good working atmosphere in the spirit of the company's values: Playing Together, Pioneering & Inspiring. A good working atmosphere entails mutual respect, respect for other cultures, collegiality, and openness as normal behavior.

Additionally, this code of conduct is designed to protect those who fall victim to inappropriate behavior. All employees and partners of Opera Ballet Vlaanderen are deemed to subscribe to this code of conduct. The board, management, and employees are obliged to ensure that this code of conduct is complied with at all times (also by external parties) and is clearly communicated to all involved parties. Managers must set a good example and keep an eye on the interactions between the various people in their service.

For whom?

This code of conduct applies to:

— all employees within OBV, regardless of their hierarchical position;
— all persons who work under contract for OBV, such as freelancers, trainees, and temporary agency workers;
— external artistic collaborators;
— all (employees of) third parties who perform activities within our company;
— visitors to our company.

OBV prevention policy

An ounce of prevention is always better than a pound of cure, and so a good prevention policy is of the utmost importance. The following rules of conduct and policy actions support this.

Within the framework of a prevention plan, Opera Ballet Vlaanderen undertakes as an employer to organize the workplace in such a way that violence, harassment, and unwanted sexual behaviors are prevented to the maximum possible extent. The company culture must ensure that employees treat one another in an equitable and respectful manner, and the board and management assume responsibility for creating a safe working atmosphere where inappropriate behavior in whatever form is prevented and addressed. Employees of Opera Ballet Vlaanderen are properly informed and trained within the framework of combating violence, harassment, and unwanted sexual behavior in the workplace.

The managers take steps to ensure that the code of conduct is complied with in practice. The management adopts adequate measures for preventing and combating discrimination and other inappropriate behavior, and provides for actions and measures in order to offer suitable psychological support to employees who are affected by violence, harassment, or unwanted sexual behavior in the workplace. This entails care, assistance, support, and reemployment of the employee involved. Opera Ballet Vlaanderen incorporates policy measures relating to these rules of conduct into its personnel policy. Managers receive information and training on how they, through their leadership style, can contribute to an open and respectful atmosphere in the workplace.


Opera Ballet Vlaanderen wishes to promote appropriate behavior and create a work culture in which everyone feels safe, welcome, and respected at work. That employees are satisfied with and enjoy their work. And this through:


Our daily goal is to connect with one another and with our environment. We feel solidarity and concern for one another, and seek our strength in diversity and a multiplicity of voices. We find the path to sustained collaboration in active and transparent listening and communicating. We take tradition and innovation by the hand to generously offer Opera and Dance, and create enthusiasm for art and artistic experience.

Our choice is to explore new paths. As an organization, we want to become stronger and better, and we constantly strive for growth, development, and innovation. We are critical and explore the limits of our artistic domains. We dare to be different from the established houses.

We empower one another and others to be innovative and creative. We inspire one another and are proud that we can offer our unique contribution to each other and to OBV so as to enable Opera and Dance to excel. Our enthusiasm turns OBV into an exciting and powerful story.


Inappropriate behavior is conduct that is experienced as threatening, humiliating, or intimidating. It can be manifested in the form of bullying, discrimination, violence or aggression, and unwanted sexual behavior. As an employer, Opera Ballet Vlaanderen implements a policy to discourage inappropriate behavior. Inappropriate behavior can take place overtly or subtly.





Every form of wrongful and repeated conduct that can express itself in words, behaviors, threats, actions, gestures, and unilateral writings, which have as objective or consequence that the personality, the dignity, the psychological or physical integrity of a person is affected in the performance of his/her work, that his/her employment is endangered or that a threatening, hostile, insulting, humiliating, or injurious environment is created.


— speaking badly of someone
— laughing at someone
— shouting, threatening, extorting
— making incorrect and offensive statements about someone's work
— spreading false rumors
— continuously criticize work and private life;
— constantly imitating someone
— assigning someone foolish and pointless tasks
— deprivation of work, withdrawal of privileges
— excessive monitoring
— exclusion and social isolation
— messing up someone's desk
— blocking a telephone line
— sabotaging a computer


Making oral or written statements about persons, performing acts against persons, making a distinction between persons on the basis of their race, skin color, origin, religion, sex, age, position, disability, philosophy of life or sexual orientation.


— Making a distinction between persons on the basis of race, skin color, origin, national or ethnic descent, religion, philosophy of life, age, political opinion, sex, heterosexual or homosexual orientation... or any other basis.
— Imposing requirements or limitations on persons or on a group of people, with the consequence that as a result these persons or the group are disproportionately disadvantaged or excluded, without these requirements or limitations being objectively justified (indirect).
— Whether orally or in writing, making insults and inciting hatred, discrimination, intimidation or violence against persons due to the grounds of discrimination mentioned above.


Any act of violence whereby an employee or any other person is psychologically or physically harassed, threatened or attacked in the performance of his/her work.


— verbal violence (for example shouting, screaming, taunting)
— psychological aggression/intimidation (for example threatening, blackmailing, stalking, bullying, mobbing);
— physical aggression (for example, hitting or grabbing hold of someone)
— vandalism (at or in the vicinity of the organization, for example destruction, arson);
— crime (at or in the vicinity of the organization, for example threatening letters, drug dealing in the neighborhood, breaking and entering, trespassing)
— unexpected and vehement humiliation
— accusation of theft or forgery without adequate proof
— pushing, pulling, hitting, kicking
— confinement


Any form of verbal, non-verbal or physical behavior of a sexual nature, of which the perpetrator knows or ought to know that it negatively affects the dignity of people at work. Unwanted sexual behavior refers to inappropriate behavior with a sexual connotation that negatively affects a person's dignity and/or creates an unpleasant environment. This can also be of a verbal (e.g. sexually-tinged comments), non-verbal (e.g. ogling) and/or physical (e.g. patting on the buttocks) nature.

There is unwanted sexual behavior when:

such behavior is unwanted, unreasonable, and insulting for the person who is targeted (irritating invitations, physical contact, comments, whistling, etc.) or a witness. It explicitly or implicitly lies at the basis of a decision relating to the employee's rights concerning professional training, employment, maintenance of employment, promotion or salary, or if it lies at the basis of any decision relating to the work. it creates an intimidating, hostile or humiliating working atmosphere for the person who is targeted (showing of pornographic photos, sexual aggression).


— repeated denigrating and inappropriate gestures
— intrusive invitations
— suggestive comments about someone's private life
— unsolicited sexual disclosures
— using dirty language and making sexually-tinged jokes
— asking intimate questions
— making sexually-charged statements
— making obscene gestures
— staring
— peeping
— compromising e-mail messages
— displaying pornographic material
— grabbing and unexpectedly kissing
— placing hands on shoulder or legs
— touching of intimate body parts
— displaying of sexual body parts
— forcing to touch genitals and masturbation
— rape
— ...


Where can you turn in case of inappropriate behavior?

Have you witnessed transgressive behavior, or have you been a victim of it yourself? You are not alone, you can contact the following people:

OBV confidential advisors
HR department
Securex psychologist
OBV prevention advisors
own manager

You are free to decide who you wish to turn to... In the following link, you will find full information and contact details: PREV Procedure P024 mental well-being: who can you contact?


Opera Ballet Vlaanderen strives to be an inclusive and pleasant workplace where everyone's talent is seen and appreciated. We want to deal respectfully with one another, and monitoring this is a shared responsibility of everyone who works here. That also means that we do not want our employees to be confronted with inappropriate behavior such as sexual intimidation, bullying, and discrimination. We are working on this via preventive measures, open communication, and consultation. If such inappropriate behavior nevertheless does occur, there are various people, channels, and procedures in place so as to be able to respond effectively. Together we can ensure that in this house we interact with one another in a respectful and dignified manner.

Update 15/01/2024

— Act of 4 August 1996 on the well-being of employees in the performance of their work.
— Royal Decree of 17 May 2007 on the prevention of psychosocial burden caused by work, including violence, harassment, and unwanted sexual behavior in the workplace.
— Respectful behavior, toolbox, and policy framework against transgressive behavior in the arts sector

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