British Airways asks staff to work for free

Employees at British Airways (BA) have been asked to support the airline’s cash saving efforts by volunteering to work for free, take unpaid leave or work flexibly.†

The airline’s 40,000 staff have been asked to volunteer to take up one of these option in an article that appeared in its internal newspaper British Airways News. Employees have until the end of the month to opt to take one-week blocks of unpaid leave or unpaid work, with salary deductions spread over three to six months, wherever possible.

The measures have been designed to minimise the financial impact on individuals, while helping to immediately save cash for the business.

Speaking to British Airways News, BA chief executive Willie Walsh, said: “Many of you from across the airline are stepping up to help the company. Other people have told me †they want to play their part, but need more flexible options. I am pleased to be able to respond with the launch of a new package of choices, designed to allow everyone to do something.”

Both Walsh and the firm’s chief financial officer, Keith Williams, announced last month that they would work unpaid for the month of July.

The measures are an extension of the airline’s earlier request in May for employees to volunteer for one month’s unpaid leave. Although more than 1,000 employees have signed up for this option, the firm decided this arrangement on its own didn’t give staff enough flexibility.†

A spokesperson for British Airways said: “The original scheme that launched a month ago was ideal for some people. There was obviously a large number of the workforce not wanting to take a one-month block off work.”