National Grid prepares for attacks over pay

Directors of the National Grid are bracing themselves for a fresh controversy over pay when the company unveils details of a new long-term incentive scheme for senior executives next month.

The company caused outrage last year when it emerged that senior directors, led by the chairman, David Jefferies, were in line for dividends of almost pounds 500,000 linked to the flotation of the Grid on top of big salary increases.

The company refused yesterday to spell out the terms of the incentive scheme or the performance targets that would have to be met as it announed a 1 per cent increase in pre-tax profits to pounds 616m for the year to 31 March. Shareholders will be presented with the details at the annual meeting on 26 July by Malcolm Williamson of Standard Chartered bank, the non-executive who chairs the Grid's remuneration committee. The other two members are Bob Fairclough, former chief operating officer of BTR, and Trevor Robinson, a senior consultant with the Republic National Bank of New York.

In the flotation prospectus, the Grid said consideration would be given to performance-linked incentive plans, which would encourage executive directors to acquire and hold shares for a "significant period".

The document also stated that the policy would be to set remuneration packages in line with market practice for generation and distribution businesses and around what the lowest quarter of similar-sized industrial groups paid their executives.

Under the present pay scheme, the Grid's executive directors are eligible for bonuses of up to 37 per cent of their basic salaries. In 1994/5 the chief executive, David Jones, received pounds 237,000 including a bonus of pounds 49,000 while the finance director John Uttley earned pounds 196,000 including a bonus of pounds 38,000. Roger Urwin, managing director of the Grid's transmission business, joined in November 1995 on a salary of pounds 170,000.

Operating profits last year from continuing operations were 9 per cent higher at pounds 656m and Mr Jones said that "uplift" payments - the extra amount the Grid pays generators to ensure supply and demand are kept exactly in balance - had been cut by a further pounds 122m.

In the last two years uplift payments have been reduced by pounds 200m, which is worth about pounds 10 off bills for the country's 22 million domestic customers.

Mr Jones confirmed that the Grid was involved in discussions with several parties about selling a stake in its telecommunication business, Energis.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Recruitment Genius: Payments Operations Assistant

£23000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They win lots of awards for the...

Recruitment Genius: Telephone Debt Negotiator

£13500 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This nationwide enforcement com...

Guru Careers: Communications Exec / PR Exec

£25 - £30K: Guru Careers: We are seeking a highly-motivated and ambitious Comm...

Guru Careers: Pricing Analyst

£30 - 35k: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Pricing Analyst to join a leading e-...

Day In a Page

On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific
In this the person to restore our trust in the banks?

In this the person to restore our trust in the banks?

Dame Colette Bowe - interview
When do the creative juices dry up?

When do the creative juices dry up?

David Lodge thinks he knows
The 'Cher moment' happening across fashion just now

Fashion's Cher moment

Ageing beauty will always be more classy than all that booty
Thousands of teenage girls enduring debilitating illnesses after routine school cancer vaccination

Health fears over school cancer jab

Shock new Freedom of Information figures show how thousands of girls have suffered serious symptoms after routine HPV injection
Fifa President Sepp Blatter warns his opponents: 'I forgive everyone, but I don't forget'

'I forgive everyone, but I don't forget'

Fifa president Sepp Blatter issues defiant warning to opponents
Extreme summer temperatures will soon cause deaths of up to 1,700 more Britons a year, says government report

Weather warning

Extreme summer temperatures will soon cause deaths of up to 1,700 more Britons a year, says government report
LSD: Speaking to volunteer users of the drug as trials get underway to see if it cures depression and addiction

High hopes for LSD

Meet the volunteer users helping to see if it cures depression and addiction
German soldier who died fighting for UK in Battle of Waterloo should be removed from museum display and given dignified funeral, say historians

Saving Private Brandt

A Belgian museum's display of the skeleton of a soldier killed at Waterloo prompts calls for him to be given a dignified funeral