Air India has reportedly extended the deadline for its permanent staff to opt for leave without pay and shorter working weeks with a pay cut. Air India employees can now avail of these schemes till March 31, 2021.
In July, Air India had rolled out a scheme where employees would be sent on leave without pay for six months or for a period of two years extendable upto five years, depending on 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.
In June, the national carrier had decided to allow its staffers, except pilots and cabin crew, to work for three days a week at 60 per cent of their salaries.
"LWP scheme was introduced (on) July 14, 2020, and the same was extended up to September 30. It has now been decided to further extend the last date for applying under the above scheme till March 31, 2021," The Times of India quoted a staff notice issued on October 9 by Air India General Manager (industrial relations) Meenakshi Kashyap as saying.
Air India has a 13,000 permanent employees on its payroll, translating into a monthly wage bill of Rs 230 crore. So far, nearly 60 staffers have opted for leave without pay, resulting into a Rs 7 crore annual wage bill, the daily quoted a senior Air India officer as saying.
Air India had defended the schemes citing its dire financia situation. The state-run airline has has a debt of around Rs 70,000 crore and the government started the process to sell it to a private entity in January this year. The national carrier's net loss in 2018-19 was around Rs 8,500 crore.