Re-blogged via Arts Council Cracks Down On Illegal Jobs | Arts Group.
In response to pressure from fair pay campaigners, the Arts Council England (ACE) has begun to crack down on illegal postings on its site Arts Jobs.
Staff at ACE summarized the organization’s stance thus:
We take complaints about postings on Arts Jobs very seriously and it is helpful that you have highlighted adverts for us which do appear to contravene the Minimum Wage Regulations (MWRs). We will ensure that postings which we feel contravene the MWRs are removed and will, where possible, provide feedback to the organisations which posted them.
We understand that the following additional steps have also been taken:
1. The Terms & Conditions of use of the site state:
“you warrant that any posting is for bona fide paid employment or a volunteering opportunity and that you are not in breach of any relevant law from time to time in force including, but not limited to, law relating to employment rights and equality/diversity. You agree that it is your responsibility to obtain proper legal advice regarding your obligations and responsibilities towards those whom your posting is aimed at”.
2. The statement on the front page, which we have recently updated, asks posters to ensure that volunteer opportunities are genuine. ACE has the right to suspend or terminate accounts for people who persistently post “volunteer” opportunities which are not genuine.
3. The moderators of Arts Jobs (Net Efficiency) will be briefed to ensure that their staff are clear about the NMW so that they can recognise when an advert is not for a genuine volunteer opportunity.
4. Enquiries team and other staff will be briefed on National Minimum Wage Regulations.
Whilst a step in the right direction, there does still appear to be a presumption there are many ‘voluntary’ opportunities genuinely advertised in our sector. It’s this author’s experience that a majority of adverts for “voluntary” or “expenses only” posts actually represent unpaid work, are illegal, and are increasingly being used to replace freelancers. SourceThatJob’s stance on refusing to advertise any unpaid opportunities appears to be a better base to start from given that a lack of paid work and decent wages, rather than a deficit in volunteering, is the key issue for our sector. Nevertheless, any move from such a core organization is to be welcomed. Well done Arts Council!