Scottish museums and galleries staff required to receive living wage

Museums Galleries Scotland wageMuseums Galleries Scotland (MGS) has introduced changes to funding criteria that will require all Scottish museums and galleries that want to apply for grants to pay all of their workers at least the real living wage.

On 1 July, the funding and development body introduced two elements of the government’s guidelines on fair working practices: that all workers within an organisation must receive at least the real living wage, which is currently £10.90 per hour, and that all staff are to be provided with appropriate channels for effective voice, such as trade union recognition.

The government’s Fair Work principles also includes investment in workforce development, no inappropriate use of zero hours contracts, action to tackle the gender pay gap and create a more diverse and inclusive workplace, offering flexible and family-friendly working practices for all workers from day one of employment, and opposing the use of fire and rehire practice.

According to MSG, grant applicants will also need to demonstrate their awareness of, and commitment to, Fair Work principles by including a supporting statement on their website.

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Through these changes, MSG has aligned its criteria to match the Scottish Government’s Fair Work First policy, which applies to grants and public contracts being awarded by and across the public sector. It has also produced related resources to help museums find support and guidance towards becoming a Fair Work employer and encourages museums to seek accreditation from the Living Wage Foundation.

Catherine Myles, Museums Galleries Scotland’s grants manager, said: “We recognise that many museums have been on the Fair Work journey for several years now as we work towards the ambition of being a fair paid sector, however for others this may feel new and unfamiliar. If [organisations] are at all unsure about these requirements we encourage [them] to contact us to discuss [their] own situation and we will provide [them] with support and guidance to understand how these requirements may affect [their] organisation.”