BT sales staff treated to expenses paid trips despite job cuts

BT has been criticised for spending millions of pounds on taking staff on foreign trips to reward good performance while making thousands of employees redundant.

The telecommunications giant took 150 sales staff and their partners on a £1m trip to the Four Seasons hotel in Provence, in the south of France.

The trip came just a month after the company announced that 30,000 jobs would be cut and chief executive Ian Livingston apologised to shareholders for the company’s “unacceptable” performance, which saw the share price drop to an all-time low.

A spokesman for the Communication Workers Union, which represents many BT staff, told the Sunday Telegraph: “Our members will find it difficult to understand BT’s spending on this event when they have seen severe cost-cutting measures affecting their terms and conditions. Spending £1m on a select few managers appears baffling at this time.”

The paper believes BT is planning to take another 150 staff and their partners to Turkey next year. The all expenses-paid trip to Istanbul is expected to cost about £7,000 per person.

A spokesman for BT said: “This is a standard recognition event for a small number of top performing sales staff across BT. It is common practice among large companies to reward staff who bring in substantial revenues.”

It is thought that most. of the staff taken on the trips work for BT’s Global Services division, which recently saw write-downs of £1.6bn after managers overestimated the value of contracts won by its sales force, according to the Sunday Telegraph.

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