Museum of London to consult staff on proposed redundancies

Museum of London

The Museum of London has announced that it is entering a period of consultation with staff on the first phase of proposed redundancies as it deals with the financial impact of COVID-19.

The institution has started talks with colleagues in response to the financial impact caused by COVID-19, said Sharon Ament, director of the Museum of London.

“It is with deep regret that the Museum of London today announced that it is entering a period of consultation with staff and our recognised Trade Union on proposed redundancies,” said Ament.

The Museum of London has entered consultation with employees in visitor experience and commercial teams, as well as the executive board about a senior restructure.

It is anticipated at this initial stage that the restructuring proposals will affect up to 28 FTE, which is 34 percent of the visitor experience and commercial teams and 10 percent of total museum staff.

The museum was closed for five months in light of the coronavirus pandemic. After reopening, it has experienced low visitor numbers, averaging just 20 percent of last year’s performance.

Its self-generated income streams, which have been badly affected, form an important source of funding for the museum, generating £3.5 million income annually.

“This is not a decision taken lightly,” says Sharon Ament

The Museum of London has already undertaken various cost-saving actions, including cancelling major programming, implementing a recruitment freeze, cutting department budgets and voluntary reduced remuneration for directors.

It also used the government’s support packages, but savings of £2 million still need to be made, prompting the museum to make some “very difficult decisions”.

Ament said this “is not a decision taken lightly; our colleagues are our greatest strength”, and confirmed that this will be the first phase of an ongoing review of all other areas of business.

Fortunately, the Museum of London continues to develop plans for the new museum at West Smithfield, which will deliver economic and social benefits in London’s post-COVID recovery.

The V&A is also making 10 percent of staff redundant due to the “ongoing impact of COVID-19”, while Disney Parks will lay off around 28,000 employees.

Museum of London director Sharon Ament will be speaking at the blooloop V-Expo, running from October 13 to 15. Don’t miss out – register here today.