BT Ireland’s 600 staff to get €572 per year share award

Award will be dependent on company’s performance in previous year

BT  entered Ireland in 2000 through the acquisition of a controlling stake in Esat Digifone

BT entered Ireland in 2000 through the acquisition of a controlling stake in Esat Digifone

 

BT’s 600 employees in Ireland will benefit from a scheme to distribute about £50 million (€57m) a year in shares, representing about £500 (€572) per employee initially.

The move, announced by BT chief executive Philip Jansen, is designed to improve commitment in the company and drive employee retention.

Shares under the “yourshare” scheme will need to be held for a three-year period as the company intends to create a more “engaged and energised workforce”.

Starting in July 2020, the award will be dependent upon the company’s performance in the previous year. In countries where regulatory or commercial reasons restrict the use of shares, staff will receive a cash equivalent award that will rise or fall in line with the company’s share price.

“I’m asking our colleagues for their commitment to making BT a national champion; and I want to give them ownership in our company and a share in our success,” Mr Jansen, who took over in February, was quoted as saying in a statement aimed at the company’s home market.

While staff at the group’s Irish arm will benefit, the unit’s ownership has been the subject of speculation. In April it was reported that the group was weighing bids for the business, with Bank of America Merrill Lynch handling the process.

The company entered Ireland in 2000 through the acquisition of a controlling stake in Esat Digifone. In the following year when Telenor exercised an option to sell its stake, BT became the full owner and now employs more than 600 staff across five cities.

According to regulator ComReg, it has the second largest fixed-line business behind market incumbent Eir.

Last week BT said revenues at its Irish arm rose 1 per cent to £338.5 million (€387.6m) as it secured key contracts including a data centre agreement with Vodafone and a five-year deal with SSE Airtricity for networking, voice and internet services.