BT won't furlough or cut jobs during coronavirus outbreak as CEO donates salary

(Image credit: BT)

BT has promised job security and wage increases for staff during the ongoing coronavirus outbreak, while CEO Philip Jansen is to donate his entire salary for the next six months.

The company thanked its employees for their work in ensuring its broadband and mobile networks can cope with the additional demand caused by the crisis and guaranteeing that emergency services and vulnerable customers remained connected.

Frontline BT staff, such as engineers and customer service agents, have been designated as key workers by the government meaning they are able to travel to and from work at a time when the general public are subject to restrictions.

BT coronavirus

Jansen has promised that no employee will be put on furlough, that all staff will be paid, and there will be no job losses for the foreseeable future. Frontline workers will be rewarded with a 1.5 per cent salary increase from July, while manager pay will be frozen.

Jansen reiterated plans to give £500 worth of BT shares to every single member of its workforce, and announce plans to donate his own salary to NHS charities and to businesses in his local community. He himself had been diagnosed with Covid-19 before making a recovery.

“For the foreseeable future – at least the next three months – no BT, Openreach, EE, or Plusnet colleague will lose their job as a result of the changing trading conditions brought about by coronavirus. That’s a promise,” he told employees in a letter.

“I don’t want any of you to worry about whether you’ll be paid. The commitment I made to all of you at the start of the coronavirus outbreak still holds true: we’ll continue to pay all of you, for at least the next three months, whatever the circumstances. On our commitments to both jobs and pay, we will review these again in three months. I hope they give you some peace of mind.”

Research suggests that broadband networks are performing well despite the additional pressure caused by remote workers, people contacting friends and family, and from streaming services. BT's infrastructure is designed to cope with peak demands in the evening and much of the increase in traffic is taking place during the day.

Steve McCaskill is TechRadar Pro's resident mobile industry expert, covering all aspects of the UK and global news, from operators to service providers and everything in between. He is a former editor of Silicon UK and journalist with over a decade's experience in the technology industry, writing about technology, in particular, telecoms, mobile and sports tech, sports, video games and media.