KQ sends staff on second phase of unpaid leave ahead of layoffs - Beaking Kenya News

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Saturday, 4 July 2020

KQ sends staff on second phase of unpaid leave ahead of layoffs

A KQ engineer services the wings of a Kenya Airways flight at the headquarter in Embakasi on April 26,2017

Kenya Airways has asked all staff who are not among those required during the resumption of services to proceed on unpaid leave.

Group CEO Allan Kilavuka said the directive takes effect from July 6.

“As we prepare for the anticipated resumption of domestic flight operations in Kenya, the projected depressed demand will require that we only keep the resources we will need for these operations. We will, therefore, request all staff who will not be required to support the reduced operations to proceed on unpaid leave effective Monday, 6th July 2020,” Kilavuka said in a statement.

He Sid the move follows an essential engagement with social partners and other relevant stakeholders to seek the best possible outcome for the staff and the Company.

“While we have all put in a tremendous amount of work to keep our business afloat, it has become increasingly challenging to fulfill our obligations and maintain operations,” he said.

He said the company’s short and medium-term projections indicate that they must inevitably reduce operations before KQ begins to scale up again.

According to Kilavuka, with suppressed demand for air transport, a large part of fleet will remain grounded.

“We will also operate a reduced network when we resume our services as we anticipate that it will take some time before the industry starts to rebound,” he said.

Kilavuka added, “Therefore, after a comprehensive review, a decision has been reached to carry out an organisation-wide rightsizing exercise which will result in a reduction of our network, our assets, and our staff. Effectively, we have commenced a phased staff rationalisation process, which we expect to conclude by Wednesday, 30th September 2020”.

 Kilavuka said the Human Resources team, together with respective departmental heads, will communicate directly with the staff affected, and engage them personally to provide the information and support required through this transition.

“I commit to you that the actions we will take will be conducted in a fair, and transparent manner, with respect and dignity accorded to you all,” he said.

“I know that this news is painful and unsettling for all of us. Please do everything you can to support your friends and colleagues through this difficult time,” he added.

This is the second time the national career is sending its workers on unpaid leave.

In March, the airline announced that its management team will take a 75 per cent pay cut as other staff proceeded on unpaid leave starting April 1.

This was in reaction to the coronavirus that has forced the airline to suspend its flights in a bid to contain the situation.

Then Kenya had only recorded seven Covid-19 cases.

Currently the country has reported over 7,000 cases with 154 deaths.

"We are facing challenging times and I would like to reiterate that we are in this together. I assure you that you are at the centre of every decision affecting our airline," Kilavuka said.

"We have been evaluating how these events will affect you and have made every effort to conserve jobs across the business. We are therefore not taking any decision on layoffs," he added.

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