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Covid-19 guidance

We know that this is a challenging time for everyone as we all adjust to new ways of working as a result of changes in Government advice. We remain committed to supporting our members and all those working across the cultural heritage sector impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

Getting in touch with us

In light of Government advice, and in consultation with staff, Icon has closed the London office until further notice. Icon staff will work from home to their usual working patterns and will continue to be contactable by email. Icon office phones will be diverted, but please email in the first instance should you need to contact a member of staff. 

Actions that Icon is taking

Icon staff and trustees are committed to supporting conservators and its members during these unusual times and we're working hard to lobby for support for conservators with Government and decision makers. You can find more information, as well as copies of our statements and letters related to the Coronavirus pandemic here:

Covid-19: Icon Policy

We're also currently researching a range of digital solutions to bring the membership and Icon staff together, closer than ever before. Please look forward to some exciting announcements in the next few days on this page, as well as Iconnect and social media.

In the meantime, members may continue to renew their membership through the members portal of the Icon website. Further updates about scheduled Icon events and other meetings will be forthcoming in due course.

While we continue to think carefully about what more we can do over the coming month, we would love to hear your feedback and ideas at feedback@icon.org.uk - and please bookmark this page and check back for further updates!

Supporting our members and the conservation profession

Social distancing measures to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic will inevitably have a significant impact on the UK’s cultural heritage sector that relies on audiences, visitors and participation, as well as the great number of freelancers who work within these industries. 

Many conservators work in the museums, galleries, archives and historic sites that are shutting their doors across the UK due to guidance on self-isolation. These workers face an uncertain future as prolonged closures may be fatal to small and independent organisations.

Conservators in private practice and in self-employment will also be affected. Face-to-face contact is an integral part of conservation: conservators need to interact with people and their objects to consider and identify the best approach to care and treatment. Social distancing may lead to an inability to accept commissions and subsequent loss of income. The majority of conservation practices are micro, small and medium sized enterprises that are already inherently vulnerable to fluctuations in the economy. Furthermore, a third of the conservation workforce is self-employed and ineligible for statutory sick pay should they fall ill. 

On 17 March 2020, Chancellor Rishi Sunak gave a statement on the Government’s steps to prop up the economy as a result of the COVID-19 epidemic. Positive measures were announced in response to issues raised by the cultural and creative sectors. These include a £330bn loan fund, grants of up to £25,000 for the smallest leisure, hospitality and retail businesses, and the extension of 100% business rate relief to all businesses in these sectors, which includes creative organisations and cultural spaces. Those who are not eligible for statutory sick pay, for example the self-employed, will now be able to more easily make a claim for Universal Credit or Contributory Employment and Support Allowance. The Chancellor also announced measures on mortgage payments and alleviating hardship to support the self-employed. 

It is evident that Government support will be needed to ensure the survival of our world-leading cultural heritage sector and those who work within it. Icon will continue to monitor developments and take steps to support its members and the profession. 

Advice and Guidance

We have collated advice and support below to provide guidance to those affected by COVID-19:

General

Employment and business

From the sector

Health and Wellbeing

Employment and business

Businesses and freelancers

Click to access links

Remote working

Click to access links

Technical advice for conservators

Click to access links

From the sector

Public bodies

Click to access links

Partners, advocacy bodies and forums

Click to access links

Health and Wellbeing

Wellbeing

Click to access links