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Fair Work First – Guidance for funding applicants


Fair Work First is the Scottish Government’s flagship policy for driving high quality and fair work, and workforce diversity across the labour market in Scotland by applying fair work criteria to grants, other funding and public contracts being awarded by and across the public sector, where it is relevant to do so. Through this approach the Scottish Government is supporting employers who adopt fair working practices, specifically:

  • payment of at least the real Living Wage;
  • providing appropriate channels for effective workers’ voice, such as trade union recognition;
  • 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.

We encourage you to visit our Fair Work Resources for Employers page to familiarise yourself with the wide range of support and guidance available to help you on the journey to becoming a Fair Work employer.

Requirements for Grant Applicants

As distributors of Scottish Government funding, Museums Galleries Scotland are required to introduce two elements of the Fair Work First policy for all new grant offers issued from 1 July 2023. These are: for workers to receive at least the real Living Wage; and for workers to be provided with appropriate channels for effective voice. Applicants will also need to demonstrate their awareness of, and commitment to, Fair Work principles by including a supporting statement on their website.

Applicants to MGS funding will need to evidence that they are compliant with these requirements before being able to access a grant. We have created an Employer Declaration form (see below) that organisations will need to complete and return to us along with the necessary evidence before applying for funding.

Organisations will need to submit a declaration and evidence once every financial year that funding is accessed.

Please refer to the current Real Living Wage rate here. Anyone you engage as a sub-contractor to deliver activity as part of a grant from MGS must also be paid the real Living Wage. The Employer Declaration form goes into more detail about the various ways of evidencing payment of the real Living Wage and the provision of channels for effective voice. You may also find the guidance provided by Scottish Government useful and can access that here. If you are at all unsure about these requirements, we encourage you to contact us to discuss your own situation.

Please be aware that it is the responsibility of applicants to submit the required information not less than ten working days prior to the deadline of any funding round to which you intend to apply. Failure to verify your compliance may result in your application being declared ineligible.

If your museum service sits within a larger organisation, such as an arm’s-length external organisation or University, your answers to the questions within Employer Declaration should reflect the situation of the organisation as a whole, not only the museum service.

If you are a wholly volunteer-led organisation with no paid workers or sub-contractors at the point at which you intend to submit an application to MGS, you do not need to complete an Employer Declaration before you apply. However, if a volunteer-led organisation wishes to apply to MGS for a grant which would be used to engage either a worker or sub-contractor to deliver project activity, the Grants team will explain the requirements relating to Fair Work at the point of any award being issued and the organisation would then be required to respond as needed at that time, as part of our grant award and monitoring processes. If you are uncertain about whether this applies to your organisation please get in touch with the Grants team at

Fair Work Employer Declaration
Download the Employer Declaration form below. You can return the form with attached evidence of compliance to
Fair Work First Employer Declaration Form
(DOCX, 87 KB)