JPI Media puts 350 staff on furlough

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JPI Media

JPIMedia, owner of the Yorkshire Post and Sheffield Star, is putting 350 staff on furlough and cutting the salaries of those who continue working by up to 15%.

Chief Executive David King said 250 sales staff and about 100 other employees, including in areas of editorial, wiould be put on furlough “in light of the significant reduction in advertising volumes”.

He said this would last for at least three weeks “but most likely for two months and possibly longer”. Employees who remain at work will receive a temporary pay reduction for three months from April to June.

The publisher is using a tiered system which will mean anyone earning under £18,000 will not receive a reduction in pay. Everyone else will have no reduction of their first £18,000 earned, a 10% reduction on earnings between £18,000 and £40,000, and 15% after that.

King and the board of directors will all take a 20% cut on their entire salary, while any planned pay rises across the company will be deferred for at least three months.

“As you are probably aware, the local and regional newspaper industry has seen a sudden and steep reduction in advertising order volumes which is having a very significant impact on our revenues," King said.

“In addition, newspaper circulation revenues have been adversely hit by store closures and lockdown restrictions. Our print contract customers are similarly affected by reduced newspaper sales volumes.

“To support the business and safeguard jobs during this uncertain period we need to make difficult decisions to control costs and preserve cash.

“Whilst we are addressing all costs in the business and looking for savings wherever we can, our staff costs are the biggest single component of our cost base and regrettably we do need to make savings in this area.”