EXCLUSIVE: Warner Bros. Discovery (WBD) is giving many of its UK and Irish staff a one-off payment of £1,000 ($1,200) to help combat the cost of living crisis.
All central WBD employees earning less than £60,000 ($73,000) have received the one-off lump sum payment and will receive a free lunch and other benefits once a week until April, we have learned. The move does not affect those hired for production, so staff at WBD Television’s UK subsidiaries such as Wall to Wall and Twenty Twenty will not benefit.
WBD declined to say how many would benefit from the measures, saying it would affect a “significant number of workers”.
The cost of living crisis in the UK is biting hard, and media companies are grappling with how to help their lower earning workers as inflation skyrockets.
Sky gave 70% of its staff a bonus of £1,000 over two installments, the second of which landed in bank accounts this month. The payment of WBD will be made in one installment.
“We want to help those most affected by inflation and will pay eligible employees a cost-of-living allowance on base salaries of less than £60,000 per annum,” WBD wrote in an email to staff, which was reported by TBEN. was seen.
The reaction on the ground to the bonus was described by an insider as “extremely positive, with many juniors hardly believing their eyes, all super happy and relieved.”
In a statement, a spokeswoman for WBD said: “We are committed to supporting our employees in the UK and Ireland and this is just one step we are taking. In addition to financial contributions, we also provide access to a number of initiatives, including free lunches and a wide range of discounts on everyday items for all employees. We continue to look for ways to provide support that can make a real difference to the day-to-day cost of living.”
For WBD, the payment provides much-needed positive internal and external PR after a year of budget cuts and restructuring that followed the Warner Bros. merger. and Discovery, some of which impacted operations outside the US.