Archant furloughs journalists for one day a week in second lockdown - Press Gazette

Archant furloughs journalists for one day a week in second lockdown

Newsquest takeover of Archant

Editorial staff at regional publisher Archant were furloughed for one day a week from the start of the November national lockdown, according to multiple sources.

Editors and reporters are among those who have been put on the flexible furlough scheme and Press Gazette understands they expect it to last until lockdown ends on 2 December.

Archant, which publishes The New European and local news titles in Norfolk, Suffolk, London, Essex, Hertfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Devon and Somerset, was bought by private equity firm Rcapital in August.

Lower paid staff, such as reporters, are having their wages topped up by the company for the day they are on furlough so they don’t lose any money.

Editors and any other higher paid staff affected receive 80% of their pay through the Government’s job retention scheme, which was extended for the return of lockdown, for the day they are not working.

Each department is being treated separately, with the data and insights team and management among those who continue to work as normal.

Press Gazette understands a number of sales staff were furloughed for the first week of the second lockdown in England, which started on 5 November.

However local businesses have been reassured by the Government’s insistence that the lockdown should not be extended beyond 2 December, meaning demand returned sooner than expected. Staff have therefore been brought back.

Archant declined to comment on the latest measures.

The publisher –  alongside rivals Reach, JPI Media and Newsquest –  previously made use of the furlough scheme for a “small number” of staff in April whose work had “disappeared” or been “radically reduced” by the Covid-19 crisis.

The publisher later made a small number of redundancies in its London and Hertfordshire sports teams.

The Government’s guidance on using the job retention scheme states that employers can flexibly furlough staff meaning they can work any pattern but cannot do any work during their furloughed hours.

Companies are told they can use the scheme if they “cannot maintain your workforce because your operations have been affected by coronavirus”.

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5 thoughts on “Archant furloughs journalists for one day a week in second lockdown”

  1. If there’s any handouts going Archant are always first in the queue with the begging bowl so this latest revenue generator doesn’t surprise me, anything to offset shocking losses due to years of bad management

    Its also laughable that todsy the company is crowing about winning an internal communications award when the staff hear about major issues affecting them and the business from external news sites which is only then followed up by a hasty email he once the realise the cats are out of the bag!

    Lip service is paid to staff issues,lack of pay reviews,general concerns and lack of career progression which only seems to be a thing for the essy to manage yes men ( and women)so internsl communication is far from award winning unless it includes bull and spin in which case they are market leaders

    I really hope the new recapital board member actually addresses poor leadership and general staff issues and not as now by ignoring them while trying to convince the outside world that everything in the garden is rosy, it isn’t!

  2. A new year and still the same tired old commercial heads remain in positions they’re out of their depth in as evidenced by years of underperformance, failure and staff demotalisation

    The sooner the new investors ship these parasites out and bring in people with fresh ideas, modern thinking and views of their own the quicker we can get back to turning the business around and growing our revenues

    Too many fat cats in their highly paid jobs for far too long,out of ideas and with old fashioned thinking still heading up departments they’ve lost touch with and audiences and new media they simply do not understand

    Listen to the staff please,not the yes men!

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