Air India to send some employees on compulsory leave without pay for up to five years
As per the order, a list will be drawn based on suitability, efficiency, competence and quality of performance as well the current health of the employee
New Delhi: Air India has started the process of identifying employees, based on various factors like efficiency, health and redundancy, who will be sent on compulsory leave without pay (LWP) for up to five years, according to an official order.
The airline's board of directors have authorised its chairman and managing director Rajiv Bansal to send employees on LWP "for six months or for a period of two years extendable up to five years, depending upon the following factors — suitability, efficiency, competence, quality of performance, health of the employee, instance of non-availability of the employee for duty in the past as a result of ill health or otherwise and redundancy", the order said on Tuesday.
The departmental heads in the headquarter as well as regional directors are required to assess each employee "on the above mentioned factors and identify the cases where option of compulsory LWP can be exercised", stated the order dated 14 July.
"Names of such employees need to be forwarded to the General Manager (Personnel) in headquarter for obtaining necessary approval of CMD," the order added.
In response to queries regarding this matter, Air India spokesperson said, "We would not like to make any comment on the issue."
The aviation sector has been significantly impacted due to the travel restrictions imposed in India and other countries due to the coronavirus pandemic. All airlines in India have taken cost-cutting measures such as pay cuts, LWP and firings of employees in order to conserve cash flow.
For example, GoAir has put most of its employees on compulsory LWP since April.
India resumed domestic passenger flights from 25 May after a gap of two months due to the coronavirus pandemic.
However, the airlines have been allowed to operate only a maximum of 45 percent of their pre-COVID-19 domestic flights. Occupancy rate in Indian domestic flights has been around 50-60 percent since 25 May.
Scheduled international passenger flights continue to remain suspended in India since 23 March.
The passenger demand for air travel will contract by 49 percent in 2020 for Indian carriers in comparison to 2019 due to COVID-19 crisis, said global airlines body IATA on Monday.
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Since suspension of international flights in March, over 2,500 repatriation flights by foreign carriers to take stranded passengers to/from India have been approved, DGCA added
The remarks have come days after private carrier IndiGo said it would lay off 10 percent of its workforce due to COVID-19-induced economic crisis