Redundancies after one year of Covid - Museums Association

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Redundancies after one year of Covid

Our report shows 8% of jobs lost in one year

Museums in the UK have been hit hard by the Covid crisis. Like most other organisations, museums have been forced to close for long periods with extremely damaging effects.

Despite the support of governments via the Cultural Recovery Fund and the furlough scheme, many museums have restructured and implemented redundancies over the past year.

We have been tracking redundancies in the sector as a symptom of the damage caused by the pandemic and as a barometer of the health of the sector.

We have published a running total of redundancies on a regular basis on our website, and this report takes a closer look at the data that we have collected and the impact on the sector.

As of 28 April 2021, there have been 4,100 redundancies in the museum sector in the UK. This includes 1,850 proposed and 2,250 confirmed redundancies across all job types and types of employment.

Using ONS figures for the size of the workforce this loss of jobs accounts for approximately 8% of all employment in museums across the UK.

This report takes a deeper look at this data, at the types of museum, the locations, and the job types that have faced redundancies.

It also features anonymous quotes from our members about the situation in their museums.

“The data in this report represents a worrying trend in museums with over 4,000 jobs lost during the pandemic so far. We are concerned about the loss of expertise that this represents across a range of areas from learning and engagement to curatorial and front of house. What’s even more concerning is that behind the data there are thousands of individuals whose career and livelihood have been interrupted. The Museums Association will do our upmost to support anyone who has been made redundant and we are advocating for funding to sustain museums in the challenging period ahead.”

Sharon Heal, director, Museums Association


Our support

We are committed to supporting the sector at this difficult time.

We urge all organisations to approach redundancy as a last resort and if it is necessary to carry out the process according to clearly defined and communicated guidelines, in line with our Code of Ethics, and with the involvement of the relevant trade union.

We are supporting individuals across the sector with issues relating to redundancy. If you are affected by a redundancy in any way, please visit our Redundancy Hub for advice, guidance and support.


Wellbeing Hub

Resources for workforce wellbeing throughout the sector