Johannesburg – The owner of the Star and other newspapers – Independent Media – says it is in a “difficult position” and is offering staff Voluntary Severance Packages (VSP) that include one month’s pay.
The struggling newspaper company told staff in an internal memo that it will also pay “1.2 week’s remuneration for every completed year of continuous service to those staff members who qualify and take the packages”.
Accrued annual leave will also be paid.
In the memo to staff, seen by The Bulrushes, Independent Media CEO Takudzwa Hove, says: “Staff who apply for VSPs in phase one will be notified of the outcome of their applications by the 7th of July 2023”.
Staff at the company told The Bulrushes they feared the move was “a race to the bottom” because all the newspapers were operating on shoestring budgets and minimal staff.
However, Hove says in the staff notice that several considerations would be taken into account before VSP applications are approved including:
- whether the business can function optimally without the position of the applicant
- whether the position is a critical or core part of the business structure
- whether the loss of the applicant will negatively impact the business and
- the experience and skills of the applicant