William Reed softens pay freeze with holiday increase - Press Gazette

William Reed softens pay freeze with holiday increase

Business publisher William Reed has issued a pay freeze for 2009 – but is compensating staff with two extra days of annual leave.

In an email to staff group managing director Charles Reed said that as part of a cost saving exercise, which has also seen a number of staff made redundant, no staff would receive a pay rise in 2009.

Reed said that the publisher of the Morning Advertiser and The Grocer is nearing the end of redundancy consultations and that the number going is ‘significantly less than originally expected mainly because we were able to find alternative roles for the majority of employees”.

However, the cuts did not provide enough cost saving to mean that the remaining staff could be rewarded with a pay rise in 2009.

‘Now the bad news,’Reed wrote. ‘The reality may not have escaped you that 2009 is going to be a very difficult year in pretty much every sphere of business and particularly so in media. We are not alone in this but because we have acted swiftly and decisively at the outset and because our shareholders remain very supportive and take a long term view I think we are better placed than many of our peers to ride out the storm.

‘However we must act responsibly in continuing to monitor our costs in relation to income and with that in mind we have no choice but to announce there will be no salary increases in January.”

Reed said that he felt that although reducing fuel prices and lower interest rates would filter through to the company in the next few months to reduce inflation, he feared that the ‘real economic dangers’lay ahead in 2010 and 2011. ‘We will undoubtedly see tax rises and a return to high inflation driven by a weak pound and an enormous budget deficit.”

As a gesture of goodwill Reed said that the publisher, as a one off, has added two extra days to annual leave entitlement for all staff.

Last month William Reed acquired wine weekly Harpers from Nexus Media, with Charles Reed telling Press Gazette that a merging of the title with William Reed’s monthly Drinks International was a possibility.

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2 thoughts on “William Reed softens pay freeze with holiday increase”

  1. Incisive Media has done similar.In an note to all staff yesterday (December 17), UK and Asia chief executive James Hanbury said: “In line with many of our customers and other publishers, will be holding salaries at 2008 levels for at least the first half of 2009. If trading conditions improve faster than we currently are predicting, then we will reconsider this decision for the second half of the year.”But he added staff would recieve an additional days holiday. He noted: “Friday January 2nd, which is currently designated as a full working day, will now become an additional days holiday for all staff in 2009.”Hanbury also confirmed the recruitment freeze at Incisive would remain largely in place.He said: “We will be recruiting essential staff, as and when this is necessary, however, the underlying recruitment freeze will remain in place and we will carefully consider all changes to existing roles on a case by case basis, with every new hire still being signed off by me.”

  2. The William Reed offer seems to be a better option where the staff can choose the days.Wearing my old production hat I can see poor Ken Harman at Incisive frantically changing all the schedules for the weeklies. Christmas is nearly as bad as Easter for messing up schedules. Then the Boss man takes away another day, a week before Christmas. Hey diddley dee, it’s a publishing life for me! 😉

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