Warner Bros. Discovery (WBD) is handing many of its UK and Ireland staff a one-off payment of £1,000 ($1,200) to help combat the cost of living crisis.
All central WBD staff who earn under £60,000 ($73,000) have received the one-off lump payment and will get a free lunch once a week until April and other benefits, we’ve learned. The move doesn’t cover those hired for production therefore staff at WBD Television’s UK subsidiaries such as Wall to Wall and Twenty Twenty won’t benefit.
WBD declined to state how many would benefit from the measures but said it would be a “considerable number of employees.”
The UK’s cost of living crisis has been biting hard, and media companies have been wrestling with how to help their lower-earning workers as inflation rockets.
Sky gave 70% of its staff a £1,000 bonus over two instalments, with the second of those landing in bank accounts this month. WBD’s payment will be in a single tranche.
“We want to help those most impacted by inflation and will be making a cost-of-living payment to eligible employees on base salaries under £60,000 per annum,” WBD wrote in an email to staff seen by Deadline.
The on-ground-response to the bonus was described by one insider as “extremely positive, with lots of juniors barely believing their eyes, all super happy and relieved.”
In a statement, a WBD spokeswoman said: “We are committed to supporting our employees in the UK and Ireland and this is just one step we are taking. As well as financial contributions, we are also providing access to a number of initiatives including free lunches and making a wide range of discounts across everyday items available to all employees. We continue to look at ways to offer support that can make a material difference to the everyday cost of living.”
For WBD, the payment brings some much needed positive internal and external PR after a year of cuts and restructuring that followed the coming together of Warner Bros. and Discovery, some of which impacted the non-U.S. business. (Deadline)