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GB News ‘Facing Revolt’ For Risking Staff Safety by Cutting Taxis to Work In Plan Dubbed a ‘Pay Cut in Disguise’

Staff were offered a £1,000 pay bump as compensation – but GB News even acknowledged it may not cover the expense needed to get them to work outside normal business hours

Nigel Farage presents his show on GB News in London. Photo: SOPA Images Limited / Alamy

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GB News is facing a staff revolt after it was accused of risking the safety of its employees to save money by refusing to pay for taxis to and from the studio, in a move described as “a pay cut in disguise”, Byline Times can reveal.

The channel – which in March posted annual losses of £42 million – is to change its policy in September as part of a cost-saving exercise, meaning staff will have to pay for their transport to and from work.

Instead, the company will give them each a £1,000 annual salary uplift, despite admitting in an internal email passed to this newspaper that in some instances it would not cover the shortfall.

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GB News staff say the salary bump will “not come close” to meeting the amount “many” of them will have to pay to travel to and from shifts, particularly in the early hours when public transport is less available.

The news was met with uproar among the station’s employees, with many now said to be looking for new jobs, and some considering a protest against the measure, which they say will particularly put women in danger, to “disrupt output”.

It is not known whether the change applies to on-screen “talent” such as Breakfast hosts Eamonn Holmes and Isabel Webster, and evening presenter Patrick Christys, or just to production staff.

One GB News whistleblower told Byline Times: “This policy change will put staff – particularly women – in danger if they have to make long journeys on public transport in the early hours, and so many of us will be forced to get taxis but now pay for them ourselves.”

The source said the £1,000 rise would not come close to making up the difference in what “would be lost by those who feel they do need to get taxis – as each person likely spends thousands on taxis each year – so it is essentially a pay cut in disguise”.

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They added: “Morale is already low at GB News due to working conditions, and the talk of people looking for other employment has skyrocketed since the announcement.

“There is some talk of a protest, especially as the company said it would reconsider the move if output was affected, but I can’t see how the already mistake-prone output could get anyone worse as a result of people getting less sleep and being tired due to longer commutes.”

GB News also intends to reform its contract with contributors and guests by eliminating reimbursement of travel expenses and instead pay guests a flat-rate “disturbance fee”. 

Trying to stem financial losses, the channel has been undergoing a ‘streamlining’ of its operations, using Limelite HR, an external human resource firm. GB News investor, Sir Paul Marshall, announced at the end of April, that he was stepping down from the board of the broadcaster after three years.

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The company’s consultation process remains ongoing with the previously announced voluntary redundancy process only “limiting the numbers that will be affected by compulsory redundancy”. 

In an email to staff sent on 5 June, the GB News HR department wrote: “Placing roles at risk of redundancy was not a decision taken lightly and one of our main objectives during consultation has been on limiting the numbers that will be affected by compulsory redundancy. 

“It was for this reason that during the consultation process, proposals were brought forward to enable all staff the opportunity to apply for voluntary redundancy. 

“The window for voluntary redundancy was extended during consultation to enable those that wished to apply to have a fully informed idea as to what our new business structure would most likely look like following the conclusion of consultation.”

In respect of the change in taxi policy, the email noted: “It was recognised that this proposed change would impact all employees, contributors, presenters, freelancers, guests and consultants with very limited exceptions.

“It has been decided that the current discretionary policy… will cease from [the] week commencing 1 September 2024 in its current form.”

The decision, the email explained, was made as a way of “limiting the number of compulsory redundancies that may need to be made at the conclusion of the collective and individual consultation processes.

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“For those assessed by GB News as being materially impacted by this change of policy, we propose increasing their basic salary by £1,000 per annum, subject to normal deductions and paid in equal instalments on a monthly basis…to mitigate the removal of the reimbursement of taxi costs. 

“We are aware that for a relatively small number of employees a £1,000 salary increase may not sufficiently mitigate against their annual taxi costs. 

“We intend to consider offering those individuals additional financial support for a period of 12 months…on a transparent and fair basis, and we will be in touch with those individuals shortly.”

GB News was approached for comment but had not replied by the time of publication.



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