BT Group has implemented a pay freeze for its entire 100,000-strong UK workforce, although senior executives may still get paid their bonuses this year.
The telecoms giant blamed the tough economic conditions but said the decision to freeze staff pay “had not been easy”.
Regarding bonuses, BT said: “If any bonuses are made, they will be substantially lower than in previous years – and in many cases won’t be paid at all.”
According to reports, chief executive Ian Livingstone stands to make more than £6m in bonuses if performance targets are hit.
Andy Kerr, deputy general secretary at the Communication Workers Union, said: “A pay freeze is wholly unacceptable. BT is still making substantial profits and a pay cut in those circumstances is an insult to staff.
“The CWU will be considering our formal response to BT’s imposition of a pay freeze early next week.”
Figures from Personnel Today’s sister organisation, pay specialist IRS, show that one in four January 2009 pay reviews resulted in a 12-month pay freeze. Other large employers such as National Express, Southern Water and Virgin Atlantic have already implemented pay freezes.