BA 'offers' IT bods extra leave, flexible working - unpaid of course

Come on people, we need to save €91m by 2018

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British Airways bosses were this week told to ask staff to "volunteer" to take unpaid leave, as the sorry cost cutting saga enveloping British Airways rumbled on.

This includes all BA employees, not just the fleet of techies working at the company, and is in addition to redundancies already confirmed in the last month.

“As we continue to focus on our cost base and seek ways to make ourselves more efficient, it is timely to think about how flexible working in your team may be able to achieve our 2016 financial goals,” stated Maria da Cunha, director of legal and people.

But the proposals for unpaid leave, career breaks, and flexible working are not a formal policy by top brass.

Rather, da Cunha asked line managers “could you offer some additional unpaid leave to your teams to increase the amount of holiday they could take this year?

But, she continued, “All leave would have to be provided without incurring additional cost such as overtime and can only be agreed if it has no operational impact on the business. It should be managed locally and any adjustments made through payroll in the usual way”.

Alternatively sabbaticals or longer leave could be options provided the line manager “cover their [staff member’s] workload” without backfilling the role. Employees could also consider part-time working but again only if managing the workload does not incur extra expense.

The airline wants to hack €91m from the total annual overhead bill by 2018 and has already initiated a job cutting programme that has involved nearly half the app delivery team being put at risk of redundancy, support staff leaving the organisation and staff in the network group departing.

The company has contracted Tata Consultancy Services to provide the offshoring fire power deemed necessary under the changes.

In its Capital Markets Day presentation late last year, BA parent International Airlines Group revealed BA's IT operations were split into three towers: end user computing; networks; and services including the 24/7 service desk, ops and monitoring bridge.

Outsourcing plans featured heavily in all areas to reduce costs. End user computing was expected to be down 38 per cent or €4.4m. Networks are looking to chop 21 per cent off the bill to €8.4m. In services the expense is forecast to fall 52 per cent €8.3m. ®


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