Employment, labour laws and social services
This report is the result of the work of the EU Open Method of Coordination (OMC) group of Member States’ experts on ‘The status and working conditions of artists and cultural and creative professionals’. The group worked in a cross-sectoral way and included experts in the field of culture as well as experts in areas of employment and social and economic affairs, and included experts from all 27 Member States. It was convened by the European Commission in 2021–2023 and in 6 plenary meetings and many exchanges inbetween formulated a set of recommendations to advance further policy learning and development. The report examines in detail the following aspects of artists’ and creative sector professionals’ working conditions: artist status and social security, fair practice, skills and life-long learning and artistic freedom.
In recent weeks, there has been a significant focus on cultural employment in different parts of the world. In late August in India, G20 Culture Ministers made a call to action, urging the integration of decent work goals into ongoing and future cultural policies. They call for adequate remuneration systems, comprehensive social protection, and support for transition to the formal economy where relevant. Additionally, the importance of a just transition to the digital environment is highlighted, along with the need for increased investments in skills training, technical assistance, and lifelong learning opportunities, particularly crucial for women, youth, and marginalised or vulnerable groups within the cultural and creative sectors (CCSs).
Creative New Zealand has increased its minimum fair remuneration guidance rate from $25/hour to $30/hour for artists and arts practitioners applying for contestable grants.
In Namibia, limited statistics exist on employment levels in the formal and informal markets, income levels, and employee contributions to household income in urban and rural areas, noted Hon Faustina Caley, the Deputy Minister of Education, Arts, and Culture. “The decline in profit levels and the impact of the sustainability of wages are circumstances that required a response that could have cushioned the terrible impact on artists and cultural practitioners and their businesses. Additionally, to circumvent the lack of data, the Ministry responsible for Arts and Culture and the development of Creative Industries is currently investigating and working to ensure the continued data gathering moving forward,” Caley said in her address at the panel discussion on social protection for Artists and Cultural Professionals in Namibia.
G20 ministers have reiterated their support for decent work in the cultural and creative industries, including alignment with international labour standards, skills training, effective social protection and reinforced channels for dialogue.
The Victorian Sick Pay Guarantee has significantly expanded with over 400 jobs added to the pilot program. This means thousands more people in casual and contract jobs can now access up to 38 hours a year of sick and carer’s pay.