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Residency Gig Rates

Updated: 03 November 2023 | 16:46 PM

Recommended minimum rates of pay per musician for resident engagements in hotels, restaurants, nightclubs at holiday centres and on ships, April 2023.

Minimum rate per musician: £825.00 per week

Working week

For a week of six sessions (performance or rehearsal) with a maximum playing time of four hours per session within a five-hour period.

Holiday pay

As an employee, the musician is entitled to 28 days holiday (pro rata) in line with the Working Time Regulations.

Public holidays

Bank holidays, when worked, are payable at double time.


Calculated on the hourly rate and paid at time and a half (£825.00 /6 /5= £27.50 x 1.5) £41.25 per hour or part thereof.

Termination of contract

Not less than two weeks’ notice in writing.

Accommodation and meals should be provided where applicable

If undertaking work overseas flights, transfers and repatriation should be provided. Submit any overseas work contracts to the Union.

Distance fees and travel expenses


  • Group A - £35.23 – Electric Guitar (inc’ Amp); Bass Guitar (inc’ Amp); Double Bass.
  • Group B - £30.50 – Bass Sax, Tuba.
  • Group C - £24.30 – Contra Bassoon; Baritone Sax; French Horn + 1 other brass instrument; Trombone + 1 other brass instrument or bag of mutes: Two Saxes; Cello; Bass Clarinet: Pedalboards.
  • Group D – subject to individual negotiation – Drum Kit; Percussion; Harps: Keyboards: P.A.


15% of fee for each additional instrument


Minimum of 15 mins per 2 hours playing

Late fees

Payable when time of return is between midnight and 2:00 am: £31.89

Overnight stay

Payable when return would be after 2:00 am: £125.00


Payable per day to cover meals and expenses: £56.70


Guidance notes

The MU’s live rates are based on an hourly rate which a self-employed musician needs to charge in order to earn an income, relative to their training, experience and expertise. Individual negotiations can be made based on these minimum rates.

  • If you’re self-employed, you do not have a contract of employment with an employer. You’re more likely to be contracted to provide services over a certain period of time for a fee and be in business in your own right.
  • You’ll also pay your own tax and National Insurance contributions.
  • You don't have employment rights as such if you're self-employed as you are your own boss and can therefore decide how much to charge for your work and how much holiday to give yourself.
  • You do have some legal protection.
  • You must not be discriminated against and you're entitled to a safe and healthy working environment on your client's premises.
  • Self-employed women who have recently left their jobs may be entitled to Maternity Allowance.