Regional publisher Johnston Press is to continue its pay freeze for a further six months after deferring all salary reviews until July at the earliest.
Last July the company announced it was deferring pay reviews until this January, holding out the prospect of 2pc increases if it hit its profitability targets.
However chief executive Ashley Highfield has now announced that the reviews will now be deferred for a further six-month period.
The move came to light in an email sent by Ashley to all JP staff on Friday, seen by HTFP, which blamed the “underlying weakness of the economy” for the move.
The company has since issued a statement saying: “Johnston Press have announced that due to the underlying weakness of the economy continuing to create challenging conditions and trading being very difficult in the second half of the year, all 2013 salary reviews are being deferred for a further six months.
“All publishing units and departments have done incredibly well in terms of overall performance taking steps to mitigate the potential shortfalls and whilst the economy remains unpredictable, continued cost control will be vital in 2013.
“The pay deferral applies to all Johnston Press Companies and Group Employees in the UK, and the Isle of Man.
“Provided business performance is robust for the first six months of 2013, there will be pay reviews starting in July 2013. The company remains confident that the ambitious initiatives introduced in 2012 will bear fruit in 2013.”
The company said last July that, provided 2012 profit forecasts were achieved, there would be a pay review in 2013 of 2pc in the UK and Isle of Man.
It also announced that staff would receive an additonal day’s holiday in 2012 and subsequent years in recognition of “hard work and commitment on newspaper re-launches and other initiatives.”