IslingtonTribune

The independent London newspaper

Decision expected soon on National Gallery art experts dispute

Tribunal set to rule on educators who insist they were employed as staff at Trafalgar Square gallery, which claims they were self-employed freelancers

29 December, 2018 — By Max Aitchison

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn with the art experts who are involved in a dispute with the National Gallery

A LANDMARK legal challenge by a group of 27 art experts who worked at the National Gallery has concluded.

The group, NG27, have claimed they were employed as staff at the National Gallery, which insists they were self-employed freelancers.

They had been told to reapply for a smaller pool of jobs with worse pay and conditions.

The gallery’s barrister, Marcus Pilgerstorfer, told an employment tribunal: “We don’t accept that the complainants were employees.”

The educators, who delivered lectures, tours and drawing classes for schoolchildren and families, were seen as the “public face” of the Trafalgar Square gallery, it was claimed.

Some had worked there for decades and were on the gallery’s payroll, taxed at source, and were required to take part in staff train­ing and received formal reviews.

Self-employed independent contractors are not entitled to the same rights as employees, including compensation, claims of unfair dismissal and holiday pay.

Although a date has not yet been confirmed, the judgment is likely to be handed down in January.

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