VICE UK staff “devastated” as they face redundancy on minimum terms

  • 31 May 2023

Journalists at VICE UK are facing statutory redundancy terms, with many having to leave with almost nothing, since the company filed for bankruptcy and sought a buyer. Its recent global CEO Nancy Dubuc was on a $1.5m annual salary.

The company has given tens of members of staff notice of redundancy, offering the bare minimum of statutory redundancy pay. VICE has agreed a sale to a consortium of its lenders, on condition that it remains open to higher bids from other parties.

The NUJ chapel said:

“The VICE UK union is devastated and shocked to learn that not only are dozens of colleagues been placed at risk of redundancy, but that the company is currently only prepared to offer the bare minimum of statutory redundancy pay to those affected. Throughout this process, the company has shown little regard for the personal circumstances of many of our colleagues affected, such as staff who are on maternity leave or pregnant, and many who are on lower salaries with less career experience.

“VICE seems determined to send the message that it is a profitable company and will emerge financially healthy from the Chapter 11 bankruptcy. This process should reflect that, and staff should be paid what they deserve. We implore the company to treat those facing potential redundancy with dignity and respect by offering pay packages that our colleagues deserve.”

Once seen as the digital future of journalism, VICE was valued at $5.7 billion in 2017, attracting big-name backers, including 21st Century Fox and Disney. It won Emmys and was one of the hottest media brands.

Mostafa Rajaai, NUJ organiser, supporting our members through the redundancy process said:

“Our members are understandably disappointed and angered by their treatment at the hands of their employer, Vice. The overwhelming feeling amongst our members is that the company has failed in protecting its dedicated staff from the worst impacts of the company’s financial mismanagement, which its workers had nothing to do with. If Vice is in crisis, the price should be shouldered by those on six and seven figure salaries, who made the decisions that landed the company where it is today.

"Many of our members have dedicated more than a decade of their prime to the company, helping to make it the international brand it is today. Now Vice is rewarding them with the minimum redundancy pay they can legally get away with. We hope Vice listens to its employees, who want the best for themselves and the company, and reconsiders the number of redundancies and the redundancy pay on offer.”

Return to listing