Trinity Mirror has agreed to give hundreds of journalists on former Local World titles the same benefits as colleagues in the rest of the group.
Local World employees had been getting the bare minimum in terms of paternity, maternity and sick pay. From April paternity leave increases to two weeks on full pay, maternity leave rises to 18 weeks on full pay and sick pay rises to 13 weeks full pay.
Press Gazette understand that redundancy pay has yet to be harmonised and that sacked Local World journalists have mounted legal challenges against the fact their severance payouts are far lower than those working for longer-established Trinity Mirror titles.
Trinity Mirror took over the Local World newspaper group at the end of 2015 in a £220m deal.
NUJ Trinity Mirror coordinator Chris Morley said: “We welcome the move by Trinity Mirror to equalise upwards certain benefits for employees in Local World.
“Ever since the takeover, the NUJ has used every opportunity to raise the disparity between the two sides of the business, especially as management’s favourite mantra was ‘One Trinity Mirror’.
“This is a sensible and equitable solution that will go towards making Local World employees feel full and valued employees of Trinity Mirror as the work of integrating the business within the wider group ploughs on with ever more intensity.
“While it is a good start, the NUJ will be seeking to ensure that all areas of employment experienced by our members in Local World matches the enhanced level of their counterparts in Trinity Mirror sites.”
A Trinity Mirror spokesperson said: “We informed staff of changes to some policies and terms a week ago, after working on these complex changes for many months.
“This has been a company driven initiative – there were no detailed discussions with the NUJ so for them to be press-releasing it as a victory is a cheap stunt which shows their priority is their own PR.”