Pay freeze and voluntary job cuts at Financial Times

The Financial Times is imposing a pay freeze, axing jobs and restructuring its business in a bid to save costs in the troubled financial climate.

In a letter to staff, FT chief executive John Ridding said that while the paper was performing well, its customers and advertisers were being affected and it needed to ‘prepare for difficult times”.

He said: “We need to act early and decisively to reduce costs so that we can sustain our investment and our success.”

The paper is offering voluntary redundancies, with staff asked to express an interest by 19 December, and is also offering a voluntary reduction in the working week to three or four days.

Staff earning less than £30,000 will receive an annual base salary increase next year, but others will be subject to a pay freeze unless economic conditions improve.

Ridding said the paper was not implementing a recruitment freeze because it wanted to ‘continue to attract the best talent”, but will be ‘tightening up’recruitment and will be ‘rigorous in managing headcount”.

Staff have also been told that travel and entertainment will be limited to ‘essential revenue-generating or editorial trips and meetings”.

The newspaper has been implementing a ‘global efficiency programme’and a ‘strategic operations review’over the past year. Ridding said it had already secured substantial savings across print and distribution, the integration of acquisitions and the renegotiation of contracts.

‘These measures are in no way a reflection of your excellent work and effort, which is demonstrated by our strong performance against the competition,’he said.

‘Rather, they are a result of this unusually severe economic downturn and our determination to sustain the competitive edge we have established from the quality of our journalism to increased commercial market share and product innovations.”

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