National carrier Air India Limited’s board of directors approved a leave without pay (LWP) scheme for its permanent employees for a period of six months to two years, which is extendable up to five years, in a bid to cut costs during the current pandemic.

“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,” Air India said in a staff notice on 14 July.

A copy of the notice has been reviewed by Mint. “(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 notice said.

It added that the Scheme authorises the airline’s chairman and managing director to pass an order whereby an employee could be sent on leave for six months or for a period of two years extendable upto five years, depending upon factors like suitability, efficiency, competence, quality of performance, health of the employee, redundancy, etc. The airline’s regional heads and departmental leaders have been asked to forward a list of employees for compulsory LWP by 15 August.

Also read: Air India to send certain employees on leave without pay for up to five years

When contacted, an Air India spokesperson was not immediately available for comments.

Air India has over 11,000 permanent employees on its rolls, which include staff from its subsidiary companies.

Indian airlines are staring at a revenue loss of Rs1.3 trillion between fiscal 2020 and 2022 due to the ongoing pandemic that has severely hit demand, rating agency Crisil said in a report on Wednesday.

Airlines are also unlikely to recoup from this loss and bounce back to pre-pandemic levels of double-digit growth at least in the medium term, said the report.



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