Sunday, May 19, 2024

Loss of 50 jobs at Mediahuis Ireland includes compulsory redundancies

Must read

Irish Independent publisher Mediahuis Ireland has reduced its employee headcount by 50 people in its publishing division, with the total including a number of compulsory redundancies, it has confirmed.

Peter Vandermeersch, chief executive of the Irish subsidiary of the European media group which has its headquarters in Antwerp, said compulsory redundancies had been kept “to a minimum”, but did not specify the total. Some new roles were also being created, he said.

Mediahuis Ireland, which employed close to 550 people at the start of 2024, announced in January that it would seek to shrink the size of the workforce across its publishing division in the Republic and Northern Ireland by about 10 per cent, with the aim of splitting the cuts 50/50 between editorial roles and non-editorial roles.

This has now been realised through a mix of voluntary redundancies, natural attrition, a shift to part-time working and compulsory redundancies, with some “internal mobility” also taking place.

Mr Vandermeersch said that while Mediahuis Ireland was reducing the number of people it employs in traditional – mainly print – publishing, the company was hiring for new roles, including six positions in its growing podcasting unit.

As well as the Irish Independent, Mediahuis publishes the Sunday Independent, Sunday World, Belfast Telegraph, Sunday Life and nine regional titles. Its non-editorial roles cover activities such as advertising sales, HR, technology, support, marketing and finance.

The company had warned of potential compulsory redundancies if a €4 million cost cuts target was not met, prompting the National Union of Journalists (NUJ) to express “grave concern” at the threat.

This was its second redundancy scheme in less than a year, with an earlier scheme announced in March 2023.

The company, previously known as Independent News & Media (INM), was acquired in 2019 by Mediahuis, which also operates in Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg and Germany.

The auto-enrolment pension scheme seems good on paper, but how will it actually work?

Mediahuis closed its last remaining Irish printing plant – in Newry – and moved entirely to contract printing in January 2023, with Mr Vandermeersch later confirming that the company planned to move away from printed news products and pursue digital growth over the next decade.

Latest article