Multi-million bonuses for TfL bosses after operator receives several Govt bailouts

17 November 2021, 09:32

Sadiq Khan has called on the Government for more support for TfL as the current funding deadline of December 11 nears
Sadiq Khan has called on the Government for more support for TfL as the current funding deadline of December 11 nears. Picture: Alamy

By Daisy Stephens

Bosses at Transport for London (TfL) will receive more than £12m per year in bonuses in a bid to stop staff departures, according to a report.

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TfL will end a freeze on bonus payments - introduced as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic - in an attempt to keep hold of staff that have been rapidly leaving the organisation as a result of uncertainty surrounding the company's funding future, and better-paid jobs being available elsewhere, the report in the Evening Standard claimed.

But the catch is that the bonuses will only be paid if TfL reaches its overall savings target, and only to bosses who meet their own personal performance targets.

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TfL has been in financial turmoil for some time.

It has received almost £5b in bail-outs from the Government, and it still has a £2b gap to plug in order to meet its target of breaking even by April 2023.

Only when TfL is entirely self-sufficient in terms of its day-to-day operations will the bonuses be paid.

A TfL spokesperson said: "Following a suspension of senior management payment awards in the last financial year, the Remuneration Committee has agreed by Chair’s Action to implement a revised performance award arrangement for 2021/22 and 2022/23.

"The proposed revised arrangement would reflect the need for TfL to ensure that we can sustain a fair reward package and retain senior talent at such a vital time while we are working to reach financial sustainability by April 2023.

"Any performance award earned would only be paid once TfL achieves financial sustainability and has been designed to ensure that it remains consistent with the terms of our funding agreement with Government.

"This decision was noted at the Remuneration Committee meeting on 10 November."

The spokesperson added that bonuses would not be paid until the operator reached financial sustainability in 2023/24, and that bosses must have been employed by TfL for a minimum period of time in order to receive them - although it has not confirmed how long this period will be.

The new bonuses, which will be offered for the 2021/22 financial year, were agreed at TfL's remuneration committee last week.

A paper seen by the committee said the scheme could cost £12.1m if TfL hit all its targets.

If it met three quarters of its targets, it would cost TfL £9.3m.

But the operator has been criticised for the plan, with Susan Hall, Leader of the Greater London Authority (GLA) Conservatives, saying it was "disgraceful" that the transport operator was "planning to splash £12m on executive handouts while asking for another taxpayer bailout".

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Sadiq Khan warned at the end of October that TfL was approaching its busiest time - the festive period - with uncertainty over funding, with the current Government deal expiring on December 11.

He called on the Government to ensure TfL received the funding it needs to help it recover from the pandemic.