Reach has agreed to enhance redundancy terms for employees on its former Local World titles as it looks to cut up to 550 staff across the group.
It comes after staff passed a vote of no confidence in senior management at the Mirror, Express and Star owner over its handling of the job cuts.
Press Gazette reported last month that redundancy payouts for ex-Trinity Mirror staff could be as much as double those for ex-Local World staff.
This is the result of so-called “legacy” terms inherited when Trinity Mirror bought out Local World in 2015 (Trinity Mirror rebranded as Reach in 2018 after buying the Express and Star titles).
Local World staff won a battle to receive equal maternity/paternity leave and sick pay in 2017, but the inequality in redundancy pay was never resolved despite a company mantra of “one Trinity Mirror” at the time.
The National Union of Journalists has pushed for a better deal, saying Local World staff face “bare legal minimum redundancy terms”, while others in Reach are being offered “enhanced” packages.
Under statutory redundancy terms, Reach offered a guaranteed minimum of three months’ pay to former Local World staff facing redundancy.
It will now offer this deal or half-a-week’s pay for each year of service, whichever is greater, subject to statutory redundancy caps. This applies to compulsory and voluntary redundancies.
Reach said: “We will hold these terms in place for Local World employees post this current transformation programme and we have agreed with the NUJ to further review these terms at a future date, yet to be agreed.”
The NUJ welcomed the move as a “good step in the right direction at a critical time in the group’s history”.
It added: “It is a genuine boost to those who will be leaving the company as a result of the current group-wide restructure in very difficult times. It is a helpful and fair move for those employees.”
Picture: Reuters/Simon Dawson