ASU delegates met with Qantas Management in Sydney on 13 June 2018 to discuss the sale of Qantas Catering to DNATA. See below for some answers to questions from our members.
A representative from the Qantas remuneration and benefits team attended to answer specific questions about superannuation.
How will the new fund be chosen?
Dnata is responsible for choosing a new superannuation fund for transferring employees. However, Qantas Superannuation may only agree to transfer your super to the new fund when it is satisfied that employees will have ‘equivalent rights’ in the new fund.
Will I keep my current superannuation benefits and insurance?
‘Equivalent rights’ means that the new fund offers benefits that are basically the same as at Qantas Super. Qantas Super will consider type of insurance offered, the costs and fees in the fund and whether or not your super is in a defined benefit or accumulation division when it makes its decision.
Further, Qantas has confirmed that it has made a commercial agreement with Dnata that transferring employees will not be worse off in their superannuation arrangements. This includes protection of defined benefit arrangements.
Qantas Super is independent from Qantas Airlines. We have asked Qantas to provide us with the contact information of the people handling the transfer at Qantas Superannuation. We will keep working to ensure that best possible arrangements for transferring employees, including a super fund that is willing and able to operate a defined benefit scheme.
We will follow up with Dnata about the choice of a new fund and work to ensure that your superannuation doesn’t fall into the hands of a high-fee for-profit fund.
What is the timeframe for transfer to the new fund?
The transfer to a new fund will occur between 12 and 18 months after the date of sale to Dnata.
Where can I get information about my current superannuation entitlements
The employment information statement you received will tell you whether or not you are in an accumulation or defined benefit division.
If you have any questions about your current superannuation options, you should contact Qantas Super. Qantas management has told us that Qantas Super will write to all Qantas Super members affected by the sale next week. This will explain their current entitlements and their next steps.
Qantas Super will hold briefings with affected employees in July. Affected employees will be able to request a 1 on 1 information session with a Qantas Super representative to discuss your entitlements. You will need to register for this service.
Speak to your delegate if you miss out on your meeting with Qantas Super.
If you are considering any changes to your superannuation arrangements – speak to Qantas Super and seek independent financial advice before making any decisions.
You might have received an email from the Qantas COO about a ‘steering committee’ that is handling the sale to Dnata. Qantas have told us that this is a high level executive team that will meet to make decisions about the sale of QCatering. Lower level working groups in specific areas will report to this group as the sale progresses.
The Qantas steering committee met with Dnata two weeks ago. The purpose of this meeting was to discuss a protocol for communication between the two companies in the lead up to the sale to ensure that any discussion was compliant with competition law.
Qantas told us that they are now able to speak to Dnata about the pay and conditions of employees after the sale.
We have asked that Qantas keep members informed about future meetings between Qantas and Dnata.
We asked Qantas what would happen to novated leases after the sale to Dnata. They told us that, if the sale is approved, all novation agreements between employees in Q Catering Limited and their fleet provider will cease on the date of sale completion. All future obligations, including lease payments, will become the employee’s responsibility. The options available to employees, to be explored with their fleet provider (and Dnata in some instances), include:
- Continuing to meet monthly repayments directly to their fleet provider;
- Re-novating their lease agreement by execution of a new novation agreement. This would be subject to the consent of dnata and the fleet provider;
- Offer to purchase the vehicle and terminate the lease; or
- Return the car to the fleet provider, in which case the employee may be liable for any shortfall between the lease payout value and the market price of the vehicle.
We asked Qantas to tell us how many people affected by the sale held novated leases and to arrange a meeting for affected employees with the fleet provider. We have also asked them to ask Dnata to re-novate the lease agreements with the affected employees and the fleet provider.
We will work to ensure that either Dnata novates the leases or Qantas bears the cost of ending the lease arrangements.
Qantas will provide all QAL Employees in roles that are not entirely catering focused with the company’s estimate of what percentage of their role is catering based.
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