Today's Labour News

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newsFin24 reports that Independent Newspapers has apologised to more than 100 retrenched staff for not paying their severance packages on time.

The newspaper group had promised to pay 128 staff members, who were let go last month, the first tranche of their severance pay on 31 October. But the payments were delayed by almost two weeks, which the media group blamed on "last-minute funding delays from our shareholders". "It was never our intention to be so delayed in the payment process, and we have been just as stressed as we can only imagine you have been, in sorting this out," the group's HR said in an internal email on Friday. Independent had hashed out an agreement to pay severance packages to the retrenched staff over three months rather than in a single lump sum due to financial constraints. Retrenched staff confirmed they received the first tranche of funds on Monday. But they are already worried about whether the next two tranches of their severance packages will also be delayed. "The lack of communication and professionalism is on another level. We will wait and see what happens," said a former staff member on Monday. The media group also said sorry for issuing retrenched staff with grocery vouchers that did not come pre-loaded with funds. SA's newspaper and magazine industries have been facing tough market conditions for years, with falling circulation figures and declining advertising leading to layoffs at all major publishers.

  • Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Jan Cronje at Fin24

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