Fair work statement

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At SSW we are committed to ensuring a supportive and encouraging workplace for our team and the artists and communities we work with that is in line with our values and with the Scottish Government’s Fair Work First policy. We want to make sure SSW provides an accessible, inclusive, encouraging and empowering environment that enables everyone at SSW to thrive. As such we commit to the following areas:


At SSW our small team works collaboratively across operations and programmes. As such ensuring Effective Voice is essential to how we work. We provide multiple spaces where our teams voices are heard, responded to and influence how we do things.These include:

  • Bi-weekly staff meetings 
  • Regular one to one catch up meetings between staff and their line managers
  • Shared team planning days
  • Team reflection sessions 
  • Monthly leadership team meetings (with key points shared with teams)
  • Quarterly Board meetings (with key points shared with teams)
  • Annual staff appraisals 
  • Formal processes to raise issues/ complaints

We support the Effective Voice of the artists and communities we work with through:

  • Community Advisory Group meetings every two months
  • Annual Community Programme evaluation survey
  • Evaluation surveys for residency artists with feedback shared at team reflection sessions
  • Artist feedback sessions form part of all residency schedules
  • When developing new policy or programme areas with a focus on EDI and lived experience is not represented within our staff team or Board we employ consultants with lived experience to share their knowledge and expertise.


We ensure Opportunity through a number of methods for our team. Recruitment is transparent with opportunities shared across a range of public platforms. Skills and lived experience audits are undertaken prior to recruitment to identify gaps in our team and knowledge and we share this as part of our recruitment packs. We put a number of measures in place to open up recruitment opportunities including diverse interview panels and issuing interview questions in advance. Staff progression and stepping up to leadership opportunities are encouraged when possible. Shadowing and mentoring opportunities can be arranged where relevant to roles. 

We invest in ongoing staff and board development and training which is identified annually through appraisals, audits and programme evaluations. This training focuses on individual development, organisational priorities and H&S compliance. Over recent years this has included:

  • EDI training for all staff and freelancers 
  • Gender Expression and Identity training for all staff and freelancers
  • Anti-racism training for all staff and board members
  • Introduction To Being A Board member training for all Board members 
  • First Aid at Work
  • Neurodiversity 
  • Disability Access Training 
  • A wide range of technical and H&S certification training 

As an organisation with a global outlook and reach we also invest in opportunities for our team to connect with potential collaborators where possible. This strengthens our partnerships and builds opportunity for our team, the organisation and the people we support – beyond our rural location.

We support Opportunity for artists through our programme by offering:

  • Funded, subsidised and sliding scale rates for artists and local people to access workshop facilities and residency programmes.
  • A range of accommodation set ups to support artists attend SSW with families (bio or chosen). Partnership Residencies that offer an access budget and a travel budget in addition to fees and materials. 
  • Bespoke funded residencies specifically for artists and makers with caregiving responsibilities. 


Ensuring our employees, Board Members, artists, freelancers and communities feel secure at SSW is vitally important to us and we support this through: 

For our team:

  • Providing PAYE, permanent or fixed term contracts to our team and never issuing zero hour contracts. 
  • Paying a minimum of the Real Living Wage or above with parity across office based and workshop based roles. 
  • Ensuring rates of pay are benchmarked regularly across visual arts sector 
  • We have no gender pay gap and will take action to address any gender pay gap if this  was to happen
  • We reimburse Board Members for expenses incurred and access costs in line with their Board Meeting and training commitments

For Artists and freelancers:

We pay freelance staff at a benchmarked rate, a minimum of RLW. 

We recognise artist precarity and thus aim to pay SAU rates for all Partnership Residencies, artist facilitation and artist advisory work across our programmes. We also provide freelance artists contracts that detail separate fees, materials, travel and access costs as well as clearly articulated terms and conditions for the scope and context of work, payments, outcomes and deadlines. 

We pay invoices promptly, as agreed in contracted payment schedules. 

For Communities:

Our Community advisors are experts in their knowledge of people and places and as such we pay them at RLW.

To ensure security for young and vulnerable community members we have safeguarding procedures in place supported by named officers across the staff and board team. PVG checks are implemented in line with our PVG policy. We ensure our Community Guidelines are clearly displayed within  all our spaces and are introduced as part of all inductions. This outlines behaviours that are encouraged and those which are not accepted.


We want to ensure our team feels fulfilled, invested in, supported and believe they are an integral part of the creative culture of our organisation. To support this we create jobs that are fulfilling and undertake an annual staff visit / away day, provide opportunities to develop personal learning through training or research days and offer access to our workshop facilities to share and develop their creative skills. 

We also provide:

  • Flexible working hours including p/t home working for staff including those with caregiving responsibilities
  • A generous allocation of paid annual leave 
  • Enhanced organisational Parental Leave and Pay (above SPP)
  • A wellbeing room available to all staff and sites users
  • Weekly shared lunch with residents and staff contributing

For Artists:

To prioritise artists fulfilment at SSW we limit the amount of artists on site at one time. Technicians and Programme team members meet with residents prior to their arrival and talk through artists aims and ambitions as well as their technical and access needs for residency periods. We prepare and share a schedule in advance of Group Residencies that is developed inline with artists feedback. Technical inductions are shared at the start of residencies and artists are offered regular check-ins with programme and technical staff throughout their time with us. Our team supports artists’ individual residency pathways and practices providing unique guidance and support to everyone we work with.

For Communities:

We work with our communities to ensure our programme is relevant and fulfilling. This includes:

  • Working with our community advisory group to programme our work
  • Meeting with other community making initiatives from across the UK and Internationally to learn good practice 
  • Providing free healthy food and refreshments at all community events
  • Encouraging cross over between resident artists and communities where possible


For our team, artists and communities we work with

Respect is one of SSW’s core values – and extends to respecting ourselves, each other and the environment. To ensure this we have a series of policies, Community Guidelines and a staff and Board code of conduct in place, as well as training for our leadership team in how to manage conflict –  enabling SSW to address and deal with inappropriate and disrespectful behaviour. Our welcome pack also includes an outline of our environmental priorities and how we expect our site and surrounding environment to be respected by all.

In addition:

  • HR policies and a Staff Handbook reflect our organisational responsibility and values, and ensure staff and freelancers employment rights are known and protected. 
  • We recognise the impact of workload on our small team and aim to effectively manage capacity within roles
  • We have a TOIL policy in place for extra hours worked
  • We oppose the use of ‘fire and rehire’

This statement confirms Scottish Sculpture Workshops commitment to Fair Work principles across the whole of our organisation 

– last updated 25.03.2024.

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