Coronavirus lockdown | Airlines extend leave without pay for employees

Suspension of services has impacted cash flow significantly, they say

April 19, 2020 09:48 pm | Updated 09:49 pm IST - Mumbai

File photo of a GoAir flight

File photo of a GoAir flight

With no clarity from the government on resumption on flying, many Indian airlines have started telling their employees to be prepared for a longer period without any pay.

GoAir told employees on Saturday it has extended the leave without pay (LWP) till May 3, without a possibility of it being extended further not being ruled out, if flight operations don’t resume soon.

Nakul Tuteja, vice president, human resources, told employees in a mail that the fleet continues to be completely grounded. “Hence, we are constrained to request you to proceed on leave without pay till May 3. We may, however, have to extend the period of LWP for a further term, if so required.”

Earlier, he Wadia-group owned GoAir had announced pay cuts to most of its employees while also initiating a short term and temporary rotational LWP from March 17.

Under this, about 35% of its employees from across departments were asked to go on LWP.

SpiceJet, which has a rotational LWP system for engineering staff, clarified on reports of paycuts or LWP in April. “It is clarified that no company-wide decision has been taken on salary cuts or LWP for April. A limited number of staff from the engineering team has been put on LWP for a month each on rotational basis,” it said.

Airline sources said the LWP was on a rotational basis to be implemented for the coming three months, which could be extended depending on the situation.

On Wednesday, Vistara had said the lockdown extension and suspension of services till May 3 had further impacted its cash flow significantly.

“As part of a number of steps we are taking to conserve cash and save costs, we had to make the difficult decision of further reducing our staff costs with the objective of preserving jobs. For the period between April 15 and 30, about 30% of Vistara’s workforce will take compulsory no-pay leave of one to three days, depending on employment grades,” it said.

As per this, the senior-most employees will go without pay for three days. “This decision does not impact the remainder 70%,” it said.

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