BT has confirmed that around 60,000 frontline staff will benefit from a pandemic bonus of £1,500 comprising £1,000 in cash paid in June, with £500 to be awarded in shares under its employee share scheme after three years – the latter £500 share payment is a discretionary award made under the yourshare scheme.

For the average employee of BT and Openreach this equates to around 5% of the average salary and will cost BT Group around £110 million but according to the group will have no impact on the company’s financial outlook.

BT is facing the first threat of industrial action since 1994 and the bonus is announced as the Communication Workers Union (CWU) sets out plans to ballot its members over the next few weeks. The bonus for frontline staff is being made despite BT freezing pay across the company and ongoing, unresolved discussions with the trade unions over its transformation and modernisation plans.

In the announcement published on the BT website, CEO, Philip Jansen, said:
“BT has made a massive contribution to the national cause over the past year: we’ve supported the NHS, families and businesses, and avoided the use of redundancy or furlough in our response to the pandemic. Our frontline colleagues and key workers have been true heroes, keeping everyone connected in this most difficult time.