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  • Joe Breitfeller

Qantas Group Awards $5,000 One-Off Bonus to Around 19,000 EBA-Covered Team Members

Qantas is offering a one-off $5,000 bonus to approximately 19,000 EBA-covered employees at a cost of $87 million. The bonus follows a two-year wage freeze and is in addition to 1,000 share rights previously awarded to non-executive employees, currently worth $4,500.

Qantas Boeing 787 Dreamliner Rendering - Courtesy Qantas

On Friday (June 24, 2022), Qantas Group announced that they will provide a one-off $5,000 bonus to around 19,000 EBA-covered team members, following a two year wage freeze for all personnel due to the pandemic. The cost of the one-off bonus to the Group is estimated at around $87 million in FY22, and management and senior executives are ineligible. The recovery boost payment will be awarded after a new enterprise agreement is finalized. Nine agreements covering around 4,000 team members have already been finalized, and they will receive the bonus shortly. Qantas’ net debt, which rose to over $6.4 billion during the pandemic, has now fallen well below pre-COVID levels to approximately $4.0 billion.

In Friday’s announcment, Qantas Group’s CEO, Alan Joyce, said,

“It’s been a tough few years for everyone in aviation but we promised to share the benefits of the recovery once it arrived. Today’s announcement is part of that. 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.

“Today, we’re announcing a one-off payment that goes some of the way to acknowledging the sacrifices our people have made, including long periods of no work and no annual wage increases. It also recognises the great work they are doing as we restart the airline, which has been challenging for everyone. 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.

“We can’t afford to permanently increase salaries beyond the two per cent threshold we’ve set, but we can afford to make this one-off payment on top of the Qantas share rights we’ve already given. Getting our permanent cost base right is how we’re able to reinvest, which ultimately means more opportunity for our people. The structure of our business means many of our people see their salary increase significantly as their careers progress. That progression often relies on the business growing, so the recent investments we’ve announced in new aircraft and new ventures will see employees share in the benefit as the national carrier enters a new phase.”

The $5,000 boost is in addition to 1,000 share rights previously awarded to non-executive employees as part of the Group’s Recovery and Retention Program, as well as a two percent permanent wage increase currently being negotiated across the company. Most EBA-covered employees will also receive a company-funded 0.5 percent increase as part of the Superannuation Guarantee from July 1st, 2022. The share rights will fully vest in August 2023 if key conditions are met, and are currently valued at approximately $4,500.

The Qantas Group has announced cumulative losses of around $6 billion since the onset of the global COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020, and expects to report another substantial loss for FY22, but has seen a material improvement in the second half of the fiscal year.

Source: Qantas

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