Contract and conditions - Museums Association

Contract and conditions

Museums need a workforce that represents their communities, is respected and is rewarded fairly. This representation needs to be modelled in both front-of-house teams and teams working behind the scenes, so that all colleagues are treated professionally, consistently and fairly.

The sector is diverse with different models of governance, operation and funding. This in turn rightly affects the detail of workforce strategies, policies and procedures, but all need to be in line with legislation and reflect the MA Code of Ethics for Museums.

Front-of-house colleagues should be secure in the knowledge of their value and be recognised, rewarded and respected. Not doing so can affect wellbeing and recruitment, retention and ultimately the museum experience.

For example, we should ensure:

  • Front-of-house colleagues are paid in line with the Real Living Wage
  • Higher rates of pay for unsociable hours or agreed enhanced time off in lieu (TOIL)
  • Shifts are as predictable as possible and communicated with plenty of notice
  • Shifts, where possible, are not changed at short notice as this has an impact on the cost of travel, childcare, etc.
  • Job or role titles are reflective of the tasks undertaken, for example some titles are too generic and undervalue the role performed
  • Current job evaluation assessments are up to date and are an accurate reflection of job content
  • Where there is a requirement to wear a uniform, these are supplied at no additional cost and are comfortable and practical
  • That contract types meet the needs of the organisation and front-of-house colleagues, for example while permanent or fixed-term contracts have benefits, other colleagues may prefer the flexibility of casual contracts. An agreed contract between both parties should provide the appropriate quality of life and wellbeing for all front-of-house colleagues