Air India introduces ‘Leave Without Pay’ scheme on voluntary basis

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on July 15, 2020 Published on July 15, 2020

The LWP scheme which comes into effect immediately is for six months to two years, and extendable up to five years.

Air India has approved a leave without pay (LWP) scheme for its employees for six months to two years, which can be extended to five years. It comes into immediate effect.

The scheme is applicable on a voluntary basis or can be availed of for personal reasons.

The decision was taken by the airline’s Board on July 7 and notified on Tuesday. Currently the airline’s salary bill stands at ₹250 crore a month.

The scheme authorises the CMD to pass the LWP order based on seven factors — suitability, efficiency, competence, quality of performance, health of employee and redundancy.

The departmental heads and regional directors are required to assess individuals on these seven factors and identify the cases where the option of compulsory leave without pay can be exercised. The names of the eligible staff will finally be approved by the CMD.

No employee making use of the scheme will be permitted to take up a job in other public sector undertakings. Employees can, however, avail of medical/passage benefits as per company rules during their period of leave without pay.

Regional Directors and Headquarters' Departmental Head have been asked to send the list of identified employees to the airline’s headquarters on or before August 15 for obtaining the CMD’s approval.

Air India sell-off

Air India’s latest scheme comes at a time when the government is proposing to sell its entire stake in the state-owned carrier along with budget carrier Air India Express and 50 per cent stake in Air India SATS Airport Services Private Limited.

The last date for inviting expression of interest from interested parties was recently extended till August 31.

Hardeep Puri, Minister for Civil Aviation, in Parliament in 2019, gave details of money pumped into the Maharaja between 2014-15 and 2018-19.

In 2014-15, the government infused ₹5,780 crore and the airline posted a loss of ₹5,859.91 crore. The following year the fund infusion was to the tune of ₹3,300 crore, with the airline reporting a loss of ₹3,836.78 crore. In 2017-18, ₹2,465.21 crore was infused, but the losses climbed to ₹6,452.59 crore. In 2018-19, the government pumped in ₹3,975 crore and yet the airline reported a provisional loss of ₹7,635.46 crore.

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Published on July 15, 2020
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