Air India Imposes Leave Without Pay For 5 Years; Ends Work From Home For All Employees
A grim development comes from Air India as it sends its permanent employees for a period of 6 months to 2 years on Leave Without Pay (LWP), which is extendable to upto 5 years.
On the other hand, Air India has ended Work From Home (WFH) for its employees who were doing so during the resultant lockdown.
From July 20, the national carrier in a staff notice has told its employees ‘offices will function in full strength’ and that ‘employees who do not attend office (from then) will have to apply for leave or shall be marked absent’.
Read on to find out more…
LWP Scheme To Prevent Downfall of Air India?
Air India Limited’s board of directors have approved a LWP scheme in a bid to cut costs during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Air India has around 13,000 permanent employees on its rolls , which include staff from its subsidiary companies with a monthly wage bill of Rs 230 crore.
As per a report by the rating agency, Crisil, the national carrier has forecasted a revenue loss of Rs 1.3 trillion between fiscal years 2020-2022 as the current COVID-19 pandemic has severely impacted demand. The Indian Airlines is also unlikely to recover from this loss and bounce back to pre-pandemic levels of double-digit growth at least in the medium term, said the report.
Air India a staff notice on July 14 said, “This Scheme (LWP) is being introduced for grant of leave 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.”
In addition the notice read, “(The) Board of Directors in its 102nd meeting held on 7th July, 2020 has approved a Scheme whereby employees can opt to take Leave Without Pay ranging from six months or for two years and the same can be extendable upto five years (copy of the Staff Notice attached).”
The LWP Scheme authorizes the Air India’s Chairman and Managing Director to pass an order whereby an employee could be sent on leave for a period of 6 months upto a 2 years extendable upto 5 years.
Air India has come up with a process of identification of redundant manpower who would be told to proceed on compulsory LWP. The qualification for compulsory leave will depend on factors like suitability, efficiency, quality of performance, competence, health of the employee, redundancy and instances of non-availability of an employee citing illness or otherwise.
The notice states that accordingly the regional directors and departmental heads at the headquarters have been asked to assess each individual and forward a list of employees for a mandatory LWP by August 15. The names will be further approved by the Chairman and Managing Director, said the office order.
The government has also initiated the divestment process of Air India, which has been postponed due to the pandemic.
Air India Discontinues Work From Home!
A staff notice issued by Air India GM (industrial relations) Meenakshi Kashyap said the decision has been taken following the unlock announced by the government. It says, “It has now been decided that all Air India offices will function in full strength effective July 20, 2020, and no separate roster for functioning under Covid situation is to be operated. Employees who do not attend office w.e.f. 20.07.2020 will have to apply for leave or shall be marked absent.”
However, exceptions are being made for those employees staying in containment zones or who are in high risk category health wise, pregnant women.
These employees need to inform the office along with a copy of the notification. Those residing in containment zones have to keep the office updated on the containment in their respective areas.