The management team of the Lowry in Salford has pledged to support the venue’s 200-strong contracted employees during the coronavirus pandemic.
The theatre’s chief executive, Julia Fawcett, said the venue would launch a Lowry-funded job retention scheme from November 1, once the government’s own job retention scheme has come to an end.
Pledging that all staff would be back in-post as soon as possible, she said: “Government needs to act. As it stands today, there is no plan for the arts sector following the end of the JRS. We will do what we can to support our staff through the introduction of a Lowry Retention scheme, but this will in no way match the scale of the chancellor’s scheme.”
The venue has 222 members of contracted staff and is now in formal consultations over the proposal, which includes “staff maintaining continuity of service, employee benefits and pension contributions”.
Since the venue shut in March, it has maintained full salary payments for contracted staff, voluntarily topping up the government contributions.
However, it said its 300-strong volunteer programme would remain on pause and that casual staff working in the venue’s catering, box office and front-of-house departments will remain on furlough until October 31, with the Lowry introducing top-up payments in August as the government contribution tapers. This will allow it to maintain casual staff on 80% of their average annual weekly wage.