Coronavirus: Lecturer FAQs

Coronavirus: Lecturer FAQs

Welcome to the frequently asked questions section for lecturers, we hope the following information is helpful. If you have any questions please email


What is The Arts Society's cancellation guidance if a Society wants to cancel a booking?

The Arts Society is not party to your contract with our member Societies, which are autonomous and the Societies are independently assessing if their meetings, lectures, study days and tours should be held in the coming months. We ask that Societies and Lecturers approach negotiating any cancellations due to this unprecedented situation with flexibility, amenability and understanding of the other's position.

Cancellation / withdrawal from engagements

Should a cancellation be necessary from either side, negotiate any suitable recompense amicably. The following guidelines may help where agreement proves difficult.

It is the responsibility of lecturers to comply with the terms of any contract, in particular, to arrive at the venue in good time allowing for the possibility of rail delays, adverse weather conditions etc.. Lecturers are generally not entitled to fees if they fail to deliver the lecture at the time agreed and speakers may be subject to proceedings being taken by Societies in the event that a Society suffers a significant loss by reason of a speaker’s failure to fulfil the contract. Lecturers may wish to obtain appropriate insurance cover.

Societies and lecturers must give maximum notice of intention to cancel a booking.

When a lecturer has to withdraw from an engagement, he or she may offer to help find a replacement, but they do not have to make this offer. If such an offer is made, the Society is not obliged to take it up. This is a matter for negotiation between lecturer and Society.

If a Society cancels a booking less than four weeks before the proposed date, it is usually appropriate to pay the lecturer’s fee.

In an emergency, the Education Department is able to help, as are Area Chairmen. Both hold lists of local lecturers who are prepared to speak at short notice, or you can search the online Directory. 


Travel costs are not specifically mentioned but you will want to factor these into your negotiations if you have already booked train tickets etc.. It might be worth checking with the train company if you can claim back some of the cost of your ticket.

Does The Arts Society have event cancellation insurance?

The Arts Society does not have insurance for event cancellation. 

Very few insurances cover cancellation unless you pay a significant amount of money and rarely do they cover epidemics/pandemics such as this current one.

Is Directory Day still going ahead?

Directory Day 2020 has been cancelled; our apologies for any disappointment this has caused.

We will be making available to Society committee members the paperwork we would have supplied about Directory Day such as the new titles list, lecturers presenting list and details of our newly accredited lecturers.

You might like to video yourselves giving your presentation to camera and email it or transfer via Dropbox, WeTransfer etc. to me (Katherine as an MP4 file. We will endeavour to compile these and make them available to our Societies. Please bear with us on this. 

The dates for future Directory Days are Thursday 4 March 2021 and Tuesday 22 March 2022.

Where can I see the advice given to Societies?

How can I contact you?

Please email or telephone 020 3206 9326

Is the office currently open?

Most staff will be working from home for the foreseeable future but can be reached during normal office hours by email or direct dial telephone numbers which can be found here: A skeleton staff will be visiting the office sporadically. 

Helpful info from other lecturers

MP Tracy Brabin has put out a call for info from freelancers and self-employed people about the financial impact the Coronavirus situation is having on them. See here.

BBC article about the Chancellor's announcement of help for self-employed people (26 March).

Advice from Money Saving Expert for self-employed people.

Information on train ticket refunds (including season tickets).

Links to other things

Florian's first broadcast on YouTube (30 March).

The Arts Society Connected website