Museums, galleries and agencies must continue to pay salaries throughout any shutdown

18 March 2020

The response to COVID-19 means that many galleries and museums are shutting their doors, both as a safety measure and because of declining numbers of visitors.

Tate, National Gallery and the British Museum are just some of the institutions that have shut their doors creating huge uncertainty for workers.

Alan Leighton, Prospect national secretary, responding to the closure of many museums and galleries due to corona virus, said:

“As COVID-19 takes hold museums and galleries are doing the sensible thing and closing their doors. Prospect members in a number of institutions have already been sent home and will be rightly worried about their futures.

“Prospect is working with gallery and museum management to ensure that people will continue to be paid. Tate Gallery for example has agreed to pay salaries of direct employees until 1 May which is their current announced period of closure. We see no reason other institutions cannot follow this plan.

“Our worry is that agency and temporary workers are not being covered in this way and are likely to face extreme hardship in the very near future. Agency workers and those on zero hours should be covered by the same provisions that employees are at this difficult time.

“Prospect and our colleagues at PCS and the FDA have written to DCMS asking that the department ensures funding is made available to keep heritage institutions solvent and replace the income lost through closure. We also ask that the department insists that institutions and agencies continue to pay salaries throughout any shutdown.”

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