Operating subsidies: Fair practices in the cultural sector

Fair practices. That’s solidarity among colleagues, zero tolerance for inappropriate behaviour, actively working on anti-racism, trust and security, gender equality, anti-misogyny, ecology and much more. Fair practices. A task that’s never finished, that requires continuous attention. The Arts Decree therefore puts forward three priorities.

One: Remuneration

From lighting technician to artist. From freelance sculptor to dance teacher. In your personnel policy, a distinction is no longer made concerning the position of employees. Self-employed or employed, everyone is paid correctly. Juistisjuist.be contains the principles and collective bargaining agreements for the arts sector. Honest pay for honest work, that’s what it comes down to.

Two: Good governance

Transparency in decisions, no conflict of interest, a nice balance between directors, management and staff. But also safety in the workplace, feasible hours, sound financial management, proper archive activities, sustainability… You yourself probably feel what good governance is about. But how do you put that on paper? Use the Culture Governance Code toolbox (in Dutch) to help you on your way. Or contact Flanders Arts Institute.

Three: Integrity

What does your organisation do to combat inappropriate behaviour and to promote psychosocial well-being? What are the procedures? And are they being used effectively? Because it’s not enough that there are reporting channels and confidential advisers. Everyone, from volunteer to chairman, must of course also be informed.  

Subsidy requirement and assessment criterion

The Arts Decree presents the three priorities above as a requirement for subsidies. And at the same time also an assessment criterion. What? 

  • Subsidy requirement: When submitting your application, you must already have a few things in order. Internal regulations, for example. Prove that you are engaged in good governance, because without this there is little point in submitting an application. Your application will then be declared inadmissible.
  • Assessment criterion: You should also focus substantively on fair practices. How do you approach this with respect to the three priorities ‘remuneration’, ‘good governance’ and ‘integrity’? In any case, be sure to mention correct remuneration in your budget. In addition, show that fair practices are more than a mere administrative matter, but something intertwined with the artistic and business side of your organisation. With a transparent remuneration policy, a confidential advisor who can be approached by all, and a clear decision-making structure. 

The right direction

Should fair practices really already be in order before the moment of application? Actually yes. But during a transition period, and depending on your organisation’s size, you can interpret a number of aspects differently. Perhaps your confidential adviser is an external agency? Or is your organisation already going through a detailed transition process after #metoo?

Sometimes fair practices put a row of dominoes in motion. Sometimes the tiles need time to initiate fundamental changes. In this case, show in your application that things are moving in the right direction.

Questions? Contact us!

Haven’t found what you need right away? Do you have any questions? Mail to advies@kunsten.be.

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