Air India to send staff on leave without pay for up-to 5 yrs

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The national carrier has already cut the allowances of all employees, except cabin crew, by 10% for the next three months in order to save money amid the pandemic.

Air India to send some employees on compulsory leave without pay for up to 5 years

Air India board of directors have approved on July 7 leave without pay (LWP) scheme for its permanent employees for a period of six months to two years, which is extendable to upto five years, in a bid to cut costs during the current pandemic.

“The introduced, Scheme (LWP) is without pay & allowances for permanent- employees, for a period of six months (extendable upto 5 years) or for a period of two years (extendable upto 5 years) at the discretion of the Management,” Air India said in a staff notice on 14 July.

According to the notice sent by Air India HR Dept, employees will be judged based on “suitability, efficiency, competence, quality of performance, health, and redundancy”.

While the scheme is voluntary in nature, if it doesn’t get a good response from employees, the board has authorized Chairman and Managing Director Rajiv Bansal to forcibly send employees on leave. Employees who opt for the scheme will have to notify their departmental heads by August 15.

The airline’s regional heads and departmental leaders have been asked to forward a list of employees for compulsory LWP by 15 August.

Air India reportedly has 13,000 permanent employees with a monthly wage bill of Rs 230 crore. The board expects that the move will save around Rs 10 crore per month.

Reacting to the board’s decision, a union representative said, “LWP has to be across the board for all employees and burden has to be shared by all employees. This is not market standards. This cherry-picking by the top management is to safeguard their pay and those of their people while burdening other employees. Management should not be selfish when it comes to a common cause.”

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