NUJ welcomes enhanced redundancy deal on former Local World titles
6 August 2020
The NUJ has welcomed a decision by Reach plc to enhance the redundancy terms of its employees on former Local World titles.
The newspaper group, then called Trinity Mirror, bought Local World’s 83 print titles including 16 dailies and 36 paid-for weeklies in a £220m deal in October 2015, making it the UK’s biggest regional newspaper publisher.
Local World comprised titles from Northcliffe Media and Iliffe News & Media – including the Leicester Mercury, Nottingham Post, Derby Telegraph and Cambridge News – and was set up three years earlier by David Montgomery, former editor of the News of the World.
Employees on Local World titles were offered only statutory redundancy terms, giving them a worse deal than colleagues when they joined the Reach stable. The NUJ has long argued for improvements.
Reach put out a statement to staff saying:
“Following extensive discussion and engagement with employee representatives and NUJ officials, we've agreed to further enhance the redundancy terms for those employees who are covered by Local World contracts of employment.
“A guarantee of a minimum of three months' pay in the event of redundancy was already in place and we have worked with NUJ officials to agree to further enhance redundancy pay by giving an additional 0.5 weeks' pay for each year of service, subject to the statutory redundancy caps that are already in place. Therefore, employees will receive a minimum of three months' pay or these further enhanced terms, whichever is the greater. This will apply to compulsory and voluntary redundancy.
“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.
“If this change affects you, we'll discuss with you through consultation. This agreement has no impact on any other group of employees.”
Chris Morley, Northern and Midlands senior organiser, said: “The NUJ welcomes this as a good step in the right direction at a critical time in the group’s history. 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.
“We also think it is one that will help those employees in Local World centres, who remain after the restructure, to feel fully part of the Reach group as it faces the considerable challenge of safely navigating the business through the Covid-19 pandemic.”