Today the Flight Centre Travel Group has notified staff by letter that they will progressively stand down many many people. This decision is subject to feedback from staff and may change should responses to the COVID-19 outbreak continue to escalate.
In conversations with the ASU, HR Manager for the Group – Victoria Harris – has confirmed that the decision will affect up to 70% of Flight Centre staff. In media reports, staff will have seen a figure of 3,800 staff – the figure is based on a required ASX announcement and we can confirm that no firm decisions have been made at this stage.
Victoria Harris also agreed to respond to inquiries from the ASU. We encourage all ASU members to channel their feedback directly to your ASU organiser so that we can collate it for Flight Centre to respond directly to your queries. Your Organiser’s email is listed in the table at the end of this Bulletin.
Letters to staff also contain a web links where individuals can provide feedback and wait for a response on an individual basis.
Stand downs are a provision available to the Company under the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth). This provides for stand down without pay and means that staff members remain employed but are not required to attend work. Employees who are not stood down will be required to do their normal duties.
This is very serious – stand down is normally without pay. The ACTU’s advice is that unpaid stand downs are permitted once all other options have been exhausted. The Company’s position on stand downs is that they will be necessary because there will continue to be no useful work for a significant number of staff.
Having said that, stand downs must be for specified periods of time so that you know where you stand. Importantly, continuity of service is maintained and employment is maintained.
What are we doing?
The ASU will work through every available option with the Company to assist with the impact to you.
We have also prepared a guide to what government assistance is available to you - check it out on our website — asu.asn.au.
Also we know this is a very stressful time, do not hesitate to seek assistance if you need it ...organisations like Lifeline 131114 or Beyond Blue 1300 224 636 are available if needed.
Remember your ASU is with you every step of the way during this very difficult time
The ASU has a network of representatives across Australia. Contact your local representatives for assistance. (Download the full bulletin here) Flight Centre Bulletin - 26 March 2020