'NOTW' staff offered lucrative severance pay

 

Former staff at the News of the World are being offered lucrative "early leaver" settlement packages worth tens of thousands of pounds in what appears to be a U-turn on a promise by Rupert Murdoch that all employees of the defunct newspaper would be found work within his media empire.

Staff have been given until the end of the month to accept an offer which could amount to the equivalent of a year's pay for former senior executives on the newspaper. The offer by Mr Murdoch's News International was made on Friday in an email to around 280 former employees.

The news came as News International refused to comment on stories that the former chief executive Rebekah Brooks was receiving financial support for her legal and public relations bills from her former employer. The company did deny that she was still a director, saying documentation of her resignation was in the process of being registered by Companies House.

News International may be unsettled by the potential to be sued by former NOTW employees, scores of whom have been preparing a class action for stigma damages after Ms Brooks branded the paper "toxic" and the paper was suddenly closed down. Admissions by Mr Murdoch before MPs that things had gone wrong at News International are thought to add to the strength of potential legal actions brought by former staff.

The enhanced redundancy terms offered under the "early leaver option" include a bonus of 25 per cent on top of their existing redundancy terms. Even the most junior staff will be offered a minimum of £5,000 on top of redundancy packages.

In addition the package includes a 2.5 per cent annual pay rise, the offer of a £1,000 lump sum in lieu of the company's annual performance-related pay system, and a further £1,000-worth of skills training, including offers of courses in multi-media journalism and use of Photoshop. Staff will also be offered career advice, including interviewing skills.

The package will be seen as an indication that News International wants to be seen as a good employer but also wishes to part company with large numbers of former NOTW staff, all of whom were put on a 90-day period of gardening leave which ends on 6 October. Attempts to find them alternative employment within the company have been largely unsuccessful and many are deeply unhappy after being offered positions at outposts of the News Corp empire including Siberia and Bulgaria.

News International said that it was still committed to Mr Murdoch's pledge to MPs last month that it would make "every effort to see that those people will be employed in other divisions of the company". But NOTW insiders told The Independent that many former staff were likely to take the offer. "I think there will be a rush out of the door after this," said one. "A lot of people think they don't stand a chance of being re-employed within the company and will take the money and leave."

Life & Style
Sampling wine in Turin
food + drink...and abstaining may be worse than drinking too much, says scientist
Arts & Entertainment
Kingdom Tower
architecture
Sport
Jose Mourinho restrains his assistant manager Rui Faria, Fabio Borini celebrates his winning penalty and Connor Wickham equalises for Sunderland
sportChelsea 1 Sunderland 2: Deafeat is extra bitter as former Chelsea player Fabio Borini scores late penalty to seal victory
Arts & Entertainment
Game of Thrones writer George R.R. Martin has been working on the novels since the mid-Nineties
books
News
Easter a dangerous time for dogs
these are the new ones. Old ones are below them... news
News
Brand said he
people
Sport
Roger Federer celebrates his victory over Novak Djokovic in the Monte Carlo Masters
sport
Voices
Actor Zac Efron
voicesTopless men? It's as bad as Page 3, says Howard Jacobson
Arts & Entertainment
The monster rears its head as it roars into the sky
film
Voices
For the Love of God (2007) The diamond-encrusted skull that divided the art world failed to sell for
its $100m asking price. It was eventually bought by a consortium
which included the artist himself.
voicesYou can shove it, Mr Webb – I'll be having fun until the day I die, says Janet Street-Porter
Extras
indybestFake it with 10 best self-tanners
Arts & Entertainment
Madonna in her music video for 'Like A Virgin'
music... and other misheard song lyrics
News
Much of the colleges’ land is off-limits to locals in Cambridge, with tight security
educationAnd has the Cambridge I knew turned its back on me?
News
peopleOrlando Bloom the pin-up hero is making a fresh start
News
Who makes you happy?
happy listSend your nominations now for the Independent on Sunday Happy List
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition iPad app?

Day In a Page

How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe: Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC

How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe

Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC
Video of British Muslims dancing to Pharrell Williams's hit Happy attacked as 'sinful'

British Muslims's Happy video attacked as 'sinful'

The four-minute clip by Honesty Policy has had more than 300,000 hits on YouTube
Church of England-raised Michael Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith

Michael Williams: Do as I do, not as I pray

Church of England-raised Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith
A History of the First World War in 100 moments: A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife

A History of the First World War in 100 moments

A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife
Comedian Jenny Collier: 'Sexism I experienced on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

Jenny Collier: 'Sexism on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

The comedian's appearance at a show on the eve of International Women's Day was cancelled because they had "too many women" on the bill
Cannes Film Festival: Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or

Cannes Film Festival

Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or
The concept album makes surprise top ten return with neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson

The concept album makes surprise top ten return

Neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson is unexpected success
Lichen is the surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus, thanks to our love of Scandinavian and Indian cuisines

Lichen is surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus

Emily Jupp discovers how it can give a unique, smoky flavour to our cooking
10 best baking books

10 best baking books

Planning a spot of baking this bank holiday weekend? From old favourites to new releases, here’s ten cookbooks for you
Jury still out on Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini

Jury still out on Pellegrini

Draw with Sunderland raises questions over Manchester City manager's ability to motivate and unify his players
Ben Stokes: 'Punching lockers isn't way forward'

Ben Stokes: 'Punching lockers isn't way forward'

The all-rounder has been hailed as future star after Ashes debut but incident in Caribbean added to doubts about discipline. Jon Culley meets a man looking to control his emotions
Mark Johnston: First £1 million jackpot spurs him on

Mark Johnston: First £1 million jackpot spurs him on

The most prize money ever at an All-Weather race day is up for grabs at Lingfield on Friday, and the record-breaking trainer tells Jon Freeman how times have changed
Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail. If you think it's awful, then just don't watch it'

Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail'

As the second series of his divisive sitcom 'Derek' hits screens, the comedian tells James Rampton why he'll never bow to the critics who habitually circle his work
Mad Men series 7, TV review: The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge

Mad Men returns for a final fling

The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge
Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground as there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit

Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground

Technology giant’s scientists say there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit