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Fair Work
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Focus On: Fair Work

Each month we’ll be taking a look at one of the ten priority areas of the new strategy for Scotland’s museums and galleries.

Starting with Fair Work, we’ll introduce each priority area, highlight useful resources, and suggest practical steps that your museum or gallery can take to achieve the actions set out in the strategy.

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What is Fair Work?

‘Fair Work’ is work that offers all individuals respect, opportunity, fulfilment, security, and an effective voice.

These five areas of Fair Work balance the rights and responsibilities of employers and workers to generate benefits for all.

One of the aims of the strategy is that Scotland’s museums and galleries will be places where Fair Work drives success, wellbeing, and prosperity for individuals, organisations, and society as a whole.

All museums and galleries will be working on the aims and actions of the strategy in a way that reflects their capacity and strengths. Whether you’re already making progress on Fair Work or just getting started, you’ll find plenty of helpful information on this page.

Read the Fair Work priority area and actions in full here.

The principles of Fair Work apply to both paid and voluntary roles. Volunteers are an essential part of the workforce: of the 5,728 museum sector workers recorded in our 2022 survey of Scotland’s museums and galleries, 2,958 (51.6%) were volunteers.

Two star-shaped military medals rest on a museum entry form. In the background, two older adults with light skin can be seen sorting through a pile of photos and documents.

Fair Work resources

Introduction to Fair Work

Learn about the five aspects of Fair Work and find out how you can implement them at your organisation in this blog series by MGS Skills Officer Frankie Bradley and People and Learning Officer Lizzy Campbell.

Fair Work in action

At the launch event for Scotland’s Museums and Galleries Strategy Mike Benson, Director of the Scottish Crannog Centre, spoke about the value of Fair Work and the positive impact it’s had on their organisation.

Modern Apprenticeships

At MGS, our commitment to Fair Work includes the recruitment of apprentices and the delivery of our Modern Apprentice programmes. You can find out more about apprenticeships – including how to host an apprentice – in our training programmes section.

Fair Work resources for employers

This guide offers a range of useful resources that will help you to better understand Fair Work.

Real Living Wage

Organisations can make progress on Fair Work by paying the Real Living Wage.

Fair Work Convention

Learn about Fair Work practices across Scotland on the Fair Work Convention website.

A young adult with light skin and shoulder-length brown hair stands and smiles on a wooden pier in front of a crannog, a thatched roundhouse built over water.
Does your organisation have formal and informal arrangements to allow for dialogue?

This can help to encourage the Effective Voice area of Fair Work. Dialogue can include one-to-ones between workers and management, appraisal and feedback processes, and team meetings.

Do you use buddying and mentoring to support your workforce?

This support contributes towards the Opportunity area of Fair Work.

Is your museum or gallery explicit about respect as an organisational value?

The Respect area of Fair Work can include conversations about how respect is experienced at your organisation.

Fair Work recruiting

Our Jobs & Opportunities page only lists museum sector roles from employers which meet inclusive recruitment standards. If you’re an employer who meets these standards, we’ll advertise your roles free of charge.

If you’re looking for advice on inclusive recruitment – including job descriptions and person specifications – please get in touch with our Skills Development team.

MGS funding

We’ve updated our grants outcomes and expectations to reflect the strategy’s commitment to Fair Work. When applying for funding, you’ll be required to confirm that:

1. You pay all direct employees the real Living Wage.

2. You provide appropriate channels for effective voice.

Visit our funding pages to read our grants outcomes and expectations in full.

Find out more

Fair Work goes hand-in-hand with other strategy priority areas such as Diversity and Inclusion. Progress in one area can have a positive impact across the rest of strategy.

If you’d like to learn more about Fair Work and how to implement its values at your organisation, please contact MGS Skills and Development Manager Markus Offer.

Our next update will focus on the Inclusion priority area. If you have any resources, case studies, or questions relating to this area, please get in touch.

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