About us

Company policies

A summary of our key policies

Glyndebourne is here to open all hearts and minds to opera. A strong corporate governance framework of rules and practices to ensure accountability, fairness and transparency has always underpinned the way in which Glyndebourne operates. We have a clearly-defined set of Company Policies that are shared with everyone who works at Glyndebourne. We believe that this contributes to an inclusive and supportive way of working and enables us to make our work accessible to all.

This is a summary of our key company policies; for a full list, please contact governance@glyndebourne.com.


The principles of inclusion apply equally to the way in which company members treat visitors, customers, suppliers and each other. All company members have a duty to treat colleagues with dignity at all times, and not to discriminate against, bully or harass others. To further reinforce this, we have signed up to UK Theatres ‘10 Principles’ for safe and supportive working practices in theatre.

Our most recent Gender Pay Gap report can be viewed here.


Glyndebourne is fully committed to preventing accidents, injuries and ill health and recognises the importance of providing and maintaining a safe and healthy environment and meeting our obligations under the Health, Safety and Welfare at Work Act. Equally, we believe that a child or adult should never experience abuse of any kind, whether physical, emotional, racial, sexual or financial. We have a responsibility to promote the welfare of children and vulnerable adults and keep them free from harm. Our safeguarding policy can be read in full here.

We have detailed policies for both health and safety and for safeguarding that apply to everyone working at Glyndebourne. They are designed to keep everyone, whether visiting or working here, safe from harm. One trustee takes responsibility for the oversight of health, safety and safeguarding and we have a management structure to oversee our activities in this respect. All staff are required to attend a health and safety induction when they commence employment. We provide a COVID-19 health and safety induction to all staff and performing company when they commence at Glyndebourne.


It is our policy to conduct all of our business in an honest and ethical manner. We do not tolerate bribery or corruption in any form and we are committed to acting professionally, fairly and with integrity in all of our business activity. Under the Bribery Act 2010, it is a criminal offence for a company to fail to prevent bribery by a person associated with the organisation, even if the organisation was unaware of the bribe. We therefore have a strict policy that applies to everyone engaged by the company in whatever capacity, including employees, trustees, artists, staff on freelance contracts, consultants, contractors and any other persons providing services to us.

The policy defines bribery and corruption clearly. It explains usual permitted expenses (there is a separate policy covering the reimbursement of legitimate business expenses), it explains ‘kickbacks’ and why they are not permitted and differentiates between acceptable and excessive business gifts and hospitality.

To avoid the risk of a perception of bribery, at least annually all trustees and staff are required to formally declare any potential for conflict of interest.


Glyndebourne aims to conduct its business honestly and with integrity at all times. However, like any organisation, there is a risk of activities going wrong or of unknowingly harbouring malpractice. We encourage a culture of openness and accountability to help prevent such situations occurring. Our whistleblowing policy provides a procedure for individuals to follow should they have such a concern and it explains the procedure the company will take, both to investigate and to protect the individual who has raised the concern.


Glyndebourne is committed to processing data in accordance with its responsibilities under the Data Protection Act 2018 and our data protection policy helps to ensure that we follow the seven key Principles of the Act:

  1. Lawfulness, fairness and transparency
  2. Purpose limitation
  3. Data minimisation
  4. Accuracy
  5. Storage limitation
  6. Integrity and confidentiality
  7. Accountability

The policy explains what specific actions are needed under each of the Principles, how to follow best security practices, what to do should there be a data breach and how long data may be kept for. We publish a Privacy Notice explaining how we apply our policy to our customers, supporters and suppliers and we have a similar in-house version explaining the same to company members. We have chosen to create separate notices so that we can give as much detail as possible to each group.


Although we receive valued Arts Council support for the Tour and some educational work, the Festival receives no public subsidy. We’re a registered charity, funded by box office income and our members and supporters. Our 1,200-seat opera house, completed in 1994, was built without a penny of taxpayers’ money. We treasure this financial independence. We believe it confers artistic independence, allowing us to be more original, inventive – and truly ourselves.

This is why the support of individuals and companies is so important to us and we are most grateful for all donations, grants and sponsorship. We have signed up to the Fundraising Regulator Code of Fundraising Practice and use it as a benchmark to make sure that we always treat donors fairly and that we meet all legal requirements. Funds given to us for a specific purpose will always be used for that purpose alone and we are meticulous in our application of the rules on Gift Aid, acceptance (or refusal) of donations and data protection. We have written a policy to guide us on the acceptance of gifts including donations, grants and sponsorship.


At all times we endeavour to provide the best possible experience and highest standards across the board. We recognise however that despite our best endeavours there may be times when we fall short of our customers’ expectations.

Our complaints policies are provided in full on our website and explain the procedure for making a complaint and how we will deal with it. There is a general Complaints policy and a separate policy for Fundraising Complaints. Feedback helps us to improve the ways in which we work and communicate with our audience and supporters and helps to ensure that the matter won’t happen again.


Our financial objective is to raise sufficient income annually to cover expenditure for the year, whilst generating surplus cash sufficient to build up free reserves to meet liabilities as they fall due and manage any economic disruption beyond our control. It also allows us to invest in the future of Glyndebourne and maintain our competitive edge from an audience, artistic and staff perspective, including an essential programme of capital spend.

In accordance with the Articles of Association, the Trustees have delegated authority to the appointed investment managers to manage investments for the Charity in accordance with the investment mandate laid down by the Trustees. The funds are invested with a view to producing the best financial return within an acceptable level of risk as cost effectively as possible.


At Glyndebourne we are concerned about the impact of climate change and our dependence on the dwindling supply of fossil fuels, and are committed to reducing both our direct, and indirect (wherever possible), impact on the environment.

We follow latest best practice as well as complying with all relevant legislation and aim to ensure that environmentally responsible management practice and operational procedures are fundamental to what we do. This includes our purchasing; we use local suppliers wherever possible and give preference to a supplier with sound environmentally sustainable practices.

Our environmental policy states the specific actions to which we are committed and each annual review of the policy lists our priorities for the coming year. More details can be found here.


Glyndebourne has a commitment to maintain high legal, ethical and moral standards. All company members are expected to share this commitment. The anti-fraud policy has been established to identify procedures which will aid investigation should fraud or related offences be committed.

We have procedures in place that reduce the likelihood of fraud occurring. These include formal policies, documented procedures and systems of internal control and risk assessment. In addition, the management promotes a risk and fraud awareness culture throughout the company.

The anti-fraud policy and fraud response plans are intended to provide direction to those managers and directors who have to deal with suspected cases of theft, fraud or corruption. These documents give a framework for a response and advice and information on various aspects and implications of an investigation.

For a full list of all of our policies, please contact the Head of Governance & Compliance.

Phone 01273 812321 or email governance@glyndebourne.com.

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