A regional publisher is to cease making extra payments to any of its journalists working on Sundays and Bank Holidays, replacing them with lieu days instead.
Newsquest has announced the proposal at several of its titles, meaning the company’s previous policy of awarding additional monetary payments to editorial staff working on those days will now end across the group.
The change has previously been implemented at the majority of the publisher’s titles, but has yet to be brought it at all of its newspapers.
Journalists working on the affected titles will still receive extra payment and a lieu day for working on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day if the changes go ahead.
Staff will also still be reimbursed for any actual time worked on Bank Holidays, which will be paid at the employee’s normal hourly rate.
As part of the switch, Newsquest is also intending to standardise contractual hours of work to 75 per fortnight.
A memo, which has been seen by HTFP, states: “The underlying reasons behind the proposals is the identification of further efficiencies during what are difficult trading conditions and to bring consistency in the benefits offered to employees.
“This has resulted in savings having to be made and planned throughout the business including redundancies.”
A consultation period on the proposed changes will begin on Tuesday 31 October.
A Newsquest spokesman said: “The majority of our titles converted payments for weekends and bank holidays into lieu days instead some time ago – and we are bringing the last remaining titles into line with those.
“Editorial staff do receive an extra payment for working on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day as well as a lieu day.”