Between 930 and 1230 jobs will be cut at Telecom in a round of cost cutting measures, the company has announced to the New Zealand Stock Exchange.
Telecom says it expects to reduce staff numbers from 7530 full time equivalent employees to between 6300 and 6600 by the middle of this year.
Last week Labour MP Clare Curran blogged that the telco was laying off 1500 workers. At the time Telecom would not confirm her figures.
Telecommunications Users' Association NZ head Paul Brislen says despite this being a difficult time for Telecom staff, the decision to cull numbers is a "necessary evil". He points out that Telecom has more employees earning at least $100,000 than competitor Vodafone has staff in total. According to Telecom's annual report last year, the company is paying 2870 of its employs six figure salaries.
Telecom says the restructuring will cost between $70 million and $80 million this financial year, but the benefits could be up to $110 million in savings per year on payroll costs. About half of the $70-$80 million figure will be in redundancy payouts, although a Telecom spokesperson says this is a tentative figure and the overall restructuring cost may change in the future.
Update 11:25am: Middle-management and corporate staff are bearing the brunt of the cuts, says Telecom spokesperson Andrew Pirie.
"While it is certainly across the company, there's a particular focus on corporate and head office roles. A significant amount of the impact will be in the head office environment in Auckland and Wellington," he says.
Asked if the cuts will affect Telecom's marketing and communications department, Pirie says it's too early to confirm this.
"We're simply not in a position to give that level of detail. We're going through it on a business unit by business unit basis," he says.
Pirie is quick to assure the cuts won't affect the company's pipeline of advertising and marketing work. If anything a leaner more agile Telecom will make it easier for Telecom to sell to its customers, he says.
StopPress has been unable to get in touch with Telecom chief marketing officer Jason Paris for further comment.