Qantas has announced a ,000 recovery boost for 19,000 employees

Qantas has announced a $5,000 recovery boost for 19,000 employees

The national airline carrier has announced a welcome boost for thousands of employees as it recovers post-Covid, but senior management and executives are not eligible.

Thousands of Qantas employees will be given a one-off $5,000 payment as the airline continues to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic.

The national carrier said the bonus is for staff to “share in the benefits of its recovery”, while senior management and executives will not be eligible.

Qantas has said the payment will be made to thousands of employees after a new enterprise agreement is finalized worth $87 million.

“The one-off recovery boost is in addition to permanent wage increases of two per cent currently being negotiated across the Group, which follow a two-year wage freeze for all personnel,” the airline said.

The payment is on top of the 1000 share rights – worth around $4500 – awarded to non-executive employees announced earlier this year.

The bonus comes as airports are about to enter some of its busiest times, with school holidays beginning across multiple Australian states and territories.

Qantas CEO Alan Joyce said the announcement would be welcome for thousands of staff who have struggled through a “tough few years” in aviation.

“We promised to share the benefits of the recovery once it arrived. Today’s announcement is part of that,” Mr Joyce said.

“For our people, the recovery really started last December when we made the decision to bring everyone back to work ahead of schedule and well before all borders opened.

“In February, we announced a bonus scheme that gives employees at least 1000 shares in the national carrier if key conditions are met, which are on track.”

Mr Joyce said the one-off payment acknowledges the sacrifices staff have made including long periods of no work and no annual wage increases.

It also recognizes the “great work” they are doing as the airline is restarting, which Mr Joyce has said is “challenging”.

Amid a wider, national debate about wage increases, Mr Joyce said Qantas “can’t afford” to permanently increase salaries beyond two per cent, but the one-off payment was within the budget.

“This comes at a time when travel demand is rebounding, but our people are facing a unique set of cost of living pressures, which frankly they’d be in a better position to handle if aviation hadn’t been so badly hit over the past two years. That’s now changing,” Mr Joyce said.

Qantas had announced cumulative losses of around $6 billion since the start of the pandemic, and expects to post another significant annual loss for this financial year.

But, Mr Joyce said the group had seen a “material improvement” in the second half of the year as travel demand rebounds.

The payment will be made to employees after a new enterprise agreements is finalised, with nine agreements covering 4000 employees already finalised.

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