News publisher Reach PLC has today become the latest publishing group to announce that it will furlough a significant number of staff due to the effects of Covid-19.
The publisher of the Mirror, Express and Star newspapers is to furlough a fifth of staff with all employees to take a 10% pay cut.
Twenty percent of staff will be furloughed and management pay cut by 20% in a bid to mitigate costs and conserve cash. All of Reach’s regional and national titles are expected to continue operating.
The company, which has suspended bonus payments for 2020, had asked to defer payments to its pension funds and will no longer pay a final dividend for the 2019 financial year, it announced.
The announcement comes as other publishers have announced in recent weeks that they would be furloughing staff due to the effect of Covid-19. Publishers include Archant, JPIMedia, Iliffe, Newsquest, the Evening Standard and PA Media.
The statement from Reach said: “The Board believes these measures represent the most appropriate and responsible course of action in the light of the ongoing uncertainty around the length and impact of the current unprecedented crisis. All of our key national and regional publications will continue to operate at this vital time despite these measures and we have sought to spread the burden of these actions across all stakeholder groups. We continue to monitor the impact of this crisis on the Group, recognising that the situation is fast evolving.
Commenting on today’s announcement Jim Mullen, CEO of Reach PLC said: “These are very challenging times and I would like to thank all our colleagues at Reach for their support and commitment. It remains difficult to predict the duration and long-term impact of the crisis on our sector, so it is key we take proactive measures now on cost to protect jobs and the Reach business for the long term.”