COVID-19: ISM calls for full sick pay for teachers affected by virus

  • ISM calls for all those engaged by Hubs to receive sick pay equivalent to their normal wages if work is lost for any reason linked to COVID-19
  • ISM members who are affected by COVID-19 in the course of their work are advised to get in touch with the ISM legal team at [email protected]

Today (Wednesday 4 March 2020) the ISM has called on music education hubs to ensure that all those who are engaged for work are paid sick pay equivalent to their normal wages where there are school or music centre closures, or where they are off for any reason linked to COVID-19.

Deborah Annetts, Chief Executive of the Incorporated Society of Musicians said:


‘Many peripatetic teachers are employed or engaged by music education hubs on basic terms and conditions or zero-hour contracts which do not provide workers with adequate sick pay. When such teachers are instructed to self-isolate, they are considered ‘off sick’. However their entitlement to sick pay may be very limited. Indeed statutory sick pay is only £94.25 per week – and for teachers who are engaged by music education hubs on zero-hour contracts there is a risk that they may not be eligible for statutory sick pay. So music teachers could very easily find themselves without pay through no fault of their own.

Therefore we are calling on music education hubs to ensure that all those who are engaged for work are paid sick pay equivalent to their normal wages where there are school or music centre closures, or where they are off for any reason linked to COVID-19.’


The ISM is also calling for teachers to, where possible, work in a different, appropriate setting, such as providing online tuition, in cases where self-isolation might be instructed so that the progress of their students is not hampered and they can continue to learn as normal.

Since the COVID-19 virus outbreak, the ISM has received many enquiries relating to impact on musicians’ because of the virus. ISM members who are affected by COVID-19 in the course of their work are advised to get in touch with the ISM legal team at [email protected]. The ISM is continuing to update members on COVID-19 advice which can be found at ism.org/advice/coronavirus-stay-informed.

The ISM has engaged with Music Mark, whose membership includes music services and music education hubs, on the matter.

Read the ISM's letter to Music Mark

About the ISM

The Incorporated Society of Musicians (ISM) is the UK's professional body for musicians and a nationally recognised subject association for music. Since 1882, we have been dedicated to promoting the importance of music and protecting the rights of those working in the music profession. We support approximately 10,000 musicians across the UK and Ireland with our unrivalled legal advice and representation, comprehensive insurance and specialist services. Our members come from all areas of the music profession and from a wide variety of genres and musical backgrounds. We campaign tirelessly in support of musicians’ rights, music education and the profession as a whole. We are a financially independent not-for-profit organisation with no political affiliation. This independence allows us the freedom to campaign on any issue affecting musicians.

For more information, please contact [email protected].