Heathrow staff told they’ll be ‘sacked’ unless they accept 15% pay cut due to coronavirus – The Sun

HEATHROW staff have been told that they will be "sacked" unless they accept a 15 per cent pay cut due to coronavirus.

Thousands of staff received a memo from human resources bosses that said they face "dismissal and reinstatement" if they refuse, reports Sky News.

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The message from Paula Stannett, chief of people at the airport, stated: "There will be consequences if colleagues do not accept the revised terms as it will mean that we have to make further job cuts."

Employees who don't accept the contract changes will be put onto the government's furlough scheme which will see up to 80 per cent of wages covered by the state.

When the scheme comes to an end, currently set for June although it may be extended if necessary, staff will then be axed from the payroll.

They may be reinstated when the firm can afford to do so but there's no guarantee reemployment will be on the same terms.

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The memo went on: "Obviously that is something I am keen to avoid, although I can confirm that is an option that is legally available to the company to take."

Only staff who have recently been made redundant will be exempt from the pay cut.

Heathrow has already docked pay for unionised staff by 10 per cent is planning on making roughly a quarter of senior managers redundant.

And last month, its chief executive, John Holland-Kaye, said he would sacrifice his pay for three months to keep the business afloat.

The airport remains open for passengers who have needed to be repatriated and so important medical supplies can still be imported.

What is the government furlough scheme?

THE government launched a "Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme".

This scheme started on March 1, 2020 and is open to all UK employers for a period of at least three months.

Simply put, if your work is forced to close temporarily due to coronavirus, employers can use a portal to claim 80 per cent of furloughed employees' wages up to £2500 per month.

Employers can also claim the associated employer national insurance contributions and minimum automatic enrolment employer pension contributions on top.

This scheme is available to all employers that started a PAYE payroll scheme on or before February 28, 2020.

A Heathrow spokesperson told The Sun: "In order to protect as many jobs as possible, we have had to make difficult decisions to reduce our cost base including cancelling executive pay, freezing recruitment and reviewing all capital projects.

"Last month, our union partners confirmed that their members have agreed on a temporary 10 per cent pay cut in salary and allowances.

"It is only right that similar pay reductions are taken on by everyone in the business as we fight to ringfence as many jobs in the future and play our part in protecting as many colleagues as possible."

The COVID-19 outbreak has had a severe impact on the travel industry as the government ban on non-essential travels remains in place.

Airline Flybe went bust at the beginning of March even before the ban was extended to countries beyond mainland China and parts of Italy.

Easy Jet has also asked all staff to take three months unpaid leave as it made the decision to ground all flights.

British Airways, which was battling to survive even before the coronavirus outbreak struck, has furloughed 28,0000 staff.

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