6,000 Singapore Airlines employees take unpaid leave

6,000 Singapore Airlines employees take unpaid leave

Over 6,000 employees at Singapore Airlines (SIA) are taking voluntary unpaid leave to help the airline protect jobs during the Covid-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic.

The airline, which currently has 15,000 employees, has seen over a third of its employees take up the voluntary benefit since it first introduced the programme to its ground staff, pilots and cabin crew in March 2020.

1,700 employees have signed up for voluntary positions and temporary secondary jobs, either within the organisation or external roles in areas such as the social service offices, hospitals and public transport stations.

To support its employees during this time, the organisation has launched its SIA Ambassador Programme and Employee Support Portal (ESP) offering advice on secondary employment and volunteering opportunities, as well as financial education, mental wellbeing and physical wellness programmes.

The organisation is also introducing a Covid-19 Special Early Retirement Scheme (SERS), a voluntary one-off early retirement package, with payouts and retirement travel benefits for any employee that volunteers to take early retirement.

Additionally, employees below the seniority of manager have taken a 10% pay cut, managers and above have taken pay cuts ranging 12-35%, while the SIA management board have taken 30% pay cuts, with the chief executive taking a 35% pay cut.

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A spokesperson at SIA said: “We thank our staff for their support and sacrifice as we navigate our way through the biggest crisis in the history of SIA. We continue to actively pursue cost management measures and options to preserve cash.”