Channel 4 staff will get retention bonuses as government rules out privatisation

Channel 4 has said it will pay retention bonuses to staff that were announced before the Government scrapped plans to privatise the broadcaster.

Staff had been told about the payments, which will vary in size between employees, amid the proposal to take the broadcaster out of public ownership.

On Monday, Channel 4 confirmed it will still reward eligible employees’ “commitment” during an “extraordinary and difficult period”.

A spokesman told the PA news agency: “The retention payment will be paid to all eligible employees in June 2023.

Michelle Donelan
Michelle Donelan confirmed the Government had scrapped plans to privatise the broadcaster (James Manning/PA)

“This payment reflects the dedication and commitment of employees during an extraordinary and difficult period and the delivery of strong creative, commercial and financial results.”

On Thursday, Culture Secretary Michelle Donelan confirmed the Government had scrapped plans to privatise the broadcaster, which had been spearheaded by her predecessor Nadine Dorries under Boris Johnson’s premiership.

Ms Dorries has since criticised the move.

Ms Donelan also said Channel 4 will be able to make and own some of its own content.

The confirmation was welcomed by Channel 4 chief executive Alex Mahon, who praised the Government for a “sensible decision”.

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The Government will legislate through the Media Bill to relax the publisher-broadcaster restriction, which prevents Channel 4 from creating content in-house.

The broadcaster’s flagship programmes are currently made by independent production companies, with The Great British Bake Off by Love Productions and Gogglebox by Studio Lambert.

Ms Mahon added: “We’ve been about building the creative economy in the UK and the indie sector and I want to make sure we’re still part of that for the next 40 years.”