COVID Fallout: Air India To Send Some Staff On Leave Without Pay For Up To 5 Years

New Delhi: An official order of Air India has sent shock waves among its employees. It says the national carrier will send some employees on compulsory leave without pay (LWP) for up to five years.

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The process of identifying those employees — based on factors like efficiency, health and redundancy – has already started.

According to the order, the 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 upto 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 departmental heads in the headquarter and regional directors have to assess each employee and identify the cases where option of compulsory LWP can be exercised, stated the order issued on July 14.

The aviation sector has been hugely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic with travel restrictions being imposed in India and other countries. All airline companies in India and many others across the globe have announced pay cuts, LWP and retrenchment of employees to cope with the situation.

The Indian government has given the green light for resumption of domestic passenger flights from May 25, but the airlines have been allowed to operate 45 per cent of their pre-COVID domestic flights.

International passenger flights to and from India – barring the special Vande Bharat Mission flights to bring back Indians stranded in other countries — have remained suspended since March 23.

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