Daily Mail owner drops Covid-19 salary sacrifice

Daily Mail: salary sacrifice began in April
Daily Mail: salary sacrifice began in April

DMGT offered staff shares in return for pay cuts.

The owner of the Daily Mail and Metro newspapers has scrapped its salary sacrifice for shares scheme that it kicked off at the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak.

The initiative asked staff to give up a percentage of their salary in return for shares in the company to the same value.

For Daily Mail and General Trust it was a way of saving jobs and not having to furlough staff during the height of the coronavirus crisis.

The scheme began in early April. Employees with a salary of £40,000 or more were asked to take a pay cut of between 1% and 23%, depending on how much they earned.

Campaign understands that DMGT has now ended this and staff will be able to cash in their shares in January. The company’s share price has edged up over the past three months, opening at 661p today compared with 638p on 1 April. 

It means that staff could be in for a pay rise if this continues for the rest of the year. However, a source told Campaign that if the share price drops below the level it was at the time when the shares were distributed to staff as part of the salary sacrifice scheme, DMGT has promised to buy them back at the same rate. 

DMGT offered no comment on the reports.

Such a move would suggest that the worst of the financial implications of the coronavirus crisis are beginning to ease.

Last week Campaign reported that WPP is also dropping its salary reduction after three months. The move affected about 3,000 staff, who took pay cuts of up to 20%.

Earlier this month Reach also revealed that it was ending its temporary pay cuts for all staff, apart from the chief executive, chief financial officer and other board members, who will continue to take a 20% drop.

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