WPP defers bonus payments

WPP delays bonus payments for 2020
Image credit: The Drum

Communications organisation WPP has postponed its bonus payments for 2020 due to the financial ramifications of the Covid-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic.  

The organisation has a performance-related bonus structure in place allowing employees below board-level to receive an extra annual payment based on how well they perform during the year.

John Rogers, chief financial officer at WPP explained that the organisation would like to reward its employees for their hard work during the pandemic and there will be more detail at the year-end regarding when these bonuses may be paid. He said: “We do want to try and reward our employees for their significant contributions. Managing our cost base and driving performance in the current market will be very difficult.” 

This is the latest step in the organisation’s bid to ensure financial stability. In MarchWPP introduced temporary pay cuts of up to 20% for 3,000 staff over a three-month period, as well as postponing salary reviews and recruitment.  

To support its employees during the pandemic, WPP has increased its mental health support by offering employee assistance guidance and educating staff on how to better manage their wellbeing during the pandemic. 

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Mark Read, chief executive at WPP, said: “Given the tightening of Coronavirus restrictions around the world and uncertainty in the global economic outlook, we remain cautious about the pace of recovery. It is important that we maintain our strong financial position and we are on track to achieve cost savings towards the upper end of our £700-800 million target. 

“Our employees have done a superb job in serving our clients, largely working remotely, but the events of 2020 have of course created new pressures for everyone. We have increased our investment in employee support services, with a particular focus on mental health and wellbeing, and this will be an ongoing priority for our leadership.”