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Journalists win back £4m in lost pay

The National Union of Journalists (NUJ) has welcomed the decision by Reach to pay back £4m to employees.

Reach publishes national newspapers including the Daily Express and Daily Mirror as well as regional titles and celebrity lifestyle magazine OK!

The company had previously deducted 10 per cent of basic pay across the months of April, May and June in 2020 saying they had to conserve cash in the face of difficult trading conditions caused by the global health pandemic. 

The decision cost employees approximately £4m in lost wages until pay was fully restored by the board from 1 July.

The NUJ opposed the pay cut, which was imposed with no consultation on the basis that it breached contracts. 

Complaints made on behalf of union members, were heard but rejected by the company at the time – along with subsequent appeals.

The NUJ launched tribunal claims on behalf of their members last autumn to recover the lost money and earlier this year an agreement was reached to refund the money.

Michelle Stanistreet, NUJ general secretary, said:

This is great news for our members who struggled to instantly adapt to working from home at the start of the covid crisis while at the same time they were forced to endure a hefty pay cut. 

We very much welcome the decision by Reach to reimburse staff wages. This is a sensible and pragmatic step, and the crucial lesson from this is the importance of media businesses such as Reach talking to the NUJ through proper consultation to justify and understand the impact on their journalists when contemplating significant changes. We look forward to discussing with the company how all our members will finally get their money back.

Photo by Jorge Maya on Unsplash