Pressure on Qantas as Virgin recredits leave

The Transport Workers’ Union is appealing to Qantas to follow Virgin’s lead and recredit leave that workers had to take when they were stood down ahead of a Government announcement on the JobKeeper Payment.

Many workers have been forced to use their annual leave and long service leave after being stood down from their jobs before details of the JobKeeper Payment were announced last week on March 30.

While Virgin announced it would pay this leave back, the TWU is asking all companies to repay it.

TWU National Secretary Michael Kaine said he commended Virgin for doing the right thing.

“We welcome Virgin’s announcement to recredit leave to workers who have been stood down and who have already had to take annual and long service leave to cover lost hours. The JobKeeper Payment was announced after Virgin stood some workers down and many had already had to take leave to ensure they had an income. It is commendable that Virgin is recrediting leave and it shows the company recognises that leave is an important entitlement that workers build up,” he said.

“Qantas must clarify if it will recredit leave it has taken from its workforce. Qantas has recently mortgaged its planes and forced staff to bail it out from their leave balances. With the Government stepping in to subsidise wages and backdating this to March 1, Qantas should pay this back. We appeal to Qantas to reconsider its stance,” he added.

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