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What do QAL staff need to know about the sale to dnata

30 August 2018 By ASU, the airlines industry union

Your ASU delegates met with dnata Catering representatives in Brisbane on Tuesday, 28 August 2018. dnata expects the sale to happen in early October.

What do we know about dnata?

While dnata is a global business, dnata Catering is a smaller organisation in Australia than Qantas. dnata also runs much less sophisticated systems than those at Qantas. They are going to need skilled staff after the transfer to make sure things run smoothly.

dnata has relatively flat management structure and runs a thin operation. Also, the opportunities for education, professional development and mentoring are more informal than those at Qantas.

What do I need to know about dnata and the sale as QAL Employee?

Qantas Airlines employees will not automatically transfer to dnata like the QCL employees. Only employees who are offered jobs with dnata will go to dnata after the sale date. dnata tell us they are obliged by the sale contract to offer 42 QAL employees jobs. These jobs must be on the same terms and conditions (including your EBA) as your job at Qantas.

There’s a lot that dnata doesn’t know. They haven’t even worked out what entity you will be employed by. We’ve asked them to confirm whether or not you’ll be employed by QCL or another dnata company.

This is important – as you can see from the table below, who employs you decides how your wages and conditions will be protected.

If you are employed by QCL If you are employed by another Dnata company
- Covered by Qantas ASU EBA 11 under normal EBA coverage rules.
- No issues with EBA coverage after negotiation of the next EBA
- Qantas ASU EBA 11 applies due to Fair Work ‘Transmission of Business Rules’.
- No guarantee that you will be covered by the QCL EBA when it is renegotiated in 2020.

You will be offered a new contract when you go to dnata. This will set your terms and conditions of employment and the corporate entity that employs you. You should ask for advice from your union before signing any contract.

Jobs with dnata are being advertised to QAL staff before the sale, what should I do?

You should consider what’s best for you - there are good reasons to accept a dnata job early or wait and see what happens.

But this is what you need to know: if you transfer to dnata before the final sale date you are not guaranteed the same terms and conditions as your current job. You are only protected if you transfer to dnata on or after the sale date.

We have asked dnata to allow any Qantas employees who accept a dnata job before the sale date to wait for the final sale date before they start with dnata. They agree that this is a good idea

What next?

What happens in the next few months will decide your future at dnata. dnata needs your skills and expertise to make the business work. QAL employees need to work together to protect job security and your pay and conditions. Ask your colleagues to join the ASU - you can join online at

Got any questions

Speak to your organiser for more information: (download the full bulletin below for details) icon Qantas Bulletin - QAL - 30 August 2018

Contact Details
Name: National Office
Telephone: 03 9342 1400