The Arts Council of Wales has introduced minimum pay requirements for artists, creatives and staff working on the projects it funds amid efforts to stamp out low wages in the sector.
The funding body said National Lottery grant bids would not be successful if the companies applying for money do not demonstrate that they are paying industry minimum rates.
In newly published guidelines for National Lottery funding, ACW has introduced stipulations about artist fees, saying it wants to see companies paying standard daily or weekly rates as set by unions and professional associations such as Equity, UK Theatre, BECTU or the Musicians’ Union.
“At the very least we would expect to see that you are committing to the industry minimum,” the document said.
Examples given include Equity and ITC’s £483 weekly minimum rate for performers, UK Theatre minimum rates of £450 a week for theatre staff and musicians, and £8.21 per hour for technical staff.
ACW said its previous guidelines had mentioned fees, however they were not so explicit as to set out what appropriate terms should be. It has also introduced a warning that applications will be rejected if the stated pay terms are not being met.
A statement from the Arts Council said: “If we are really serious about the eradication of privilege and ensuring that everyone can work in the arts on a sustainable basis, the minimum rates will be an important tool to help achieve real equity.”
For Arts Council England’s equivalent funding – its National Lottery Project Grants – the body does not set out specific rates but says applicants are expected “to show how fees for artists, creatives and specialists for projects funded by us are in line with, or better than, recognised codes of practice and guidelines set by relevant lead bodies”.
It adds that applications may be negatively impacted if payments included are not deemed appropriate.
Equity’s Paul Fleming recently criticised ACE’s enforcement of its guidelines around project grants, claiming that poor pay is often not being challenged, allowing employers to receive funding for work that does not offer fair wages to those involved.