Air India authorises CMD to send any non-performing employee on leave without pay

Air India has decided to allow its Chairman and Managing Director (CMD) to recommend that a non-performing staff member be compulsorily sent on leave without pay for a period of up to five years.

Employees will be assessed by a board in the following categories: 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.

Air India CMD Rajiv Bansal can now send employees on leave without pay “for six months or for a period of two years extendable up to five years,” an official order said.

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”, the order said.

“Names of such employees need to be forwarded to the General Manager (Personnel) in headquarter for obtaining necessary approval of CMD,” it added.

The move comes at a time when the government is attempting to sell off the airline, a process which has been delayed because of the outbreak of coronavirus.

The aviation sector has been badly hit due to travel restrictions in India and other countries amid the COVID-19 pandemic. All airlines in India have taken up cost-cutting measures such as pay cuts and laying off employees.

India resumed domestic passenger flights from May 25 after a gap of two months due to the coronavirus-induced lockdown.

However, the airlines have been allowed to operate only a maximum of 45% of their pre-COVID domestic flights. Occupancy rate in Indian domestic flights has been around 50-60% since May 25.

International passenger flights that have been suspended since March 23, will stay banned till at least July 31. 

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