After a tough few months of stand-downs, redundancies and restructuring, where many radio industry staff in all sectors have lost their jobs, some stations are planning to return salaries to normal as advertising slowly increases and sentiment begins to turn around.
Today the nation’s unemployment figures improved, showing some signs of green shoots as Australia begins to regain control on the pandemic.
The Jobkeeper payment will decrease from the end of this month and new conditions will come into place for companies to claim the benefit. Some of them may no longer be eligible.
Southern Cross Austereo and the Australian Radio Network have indicated that they intend to return salaries and hours to normal rates when the first stage of Jobkeeper ends. Both Ciaran Davis and Grant Blackley have credited the scheme as helping their companies retain as many staff as possible during the first six months of the pandemic.
It didn’t save all the jobs though, with many leaving SCA, ARN, Nova, the ABC and some community stations since the Covid induced slow down began.
SCA has introduced a scheme called SCA Your Way, which will see all its 65 offices open from September 28 with staff on full pay.
Blackley told AdNews: “Whilst clearly the COVID-19 situation is ever-changing and will require careful ongoing management, it is the efforts and contributions of each of us that have enabled us to emerge ready for the months and years ahead. As a result, our people will return to their ‘pre-COVID’ employment conditions, including a return to normal hours and remuneration from 28th September.”
ARN will continue its flexible working conditions, with Davis telling radioinfo: “People will still need to be together to collaborate and engage socially, but we may do it differently in the future.”
Nova continues its flexible working arrangements for most staff, who can choose to work from home or the office.
With so many unknowns, and vaccines still in test phase, it is not known whether radio and advertising will recover smoothly, or if there will still be many bumps ahead, but there are signs of money and confidence slowly returning.