Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce has said “stood down” employees might be able to work temporarily for Woolworths.
Joyce said, “This is a very hard set of circumstances for our people, as it is for lots of parts of the community right now.”
The business earlier on Wednesday announced it was effectively suspending two-thirds of its workforce until “at least” the end of May 2020.
“The reality is we’ll have 150 aircraft on the ground and sadly there’s no work for most of our people. Rather than lose these highly skilled employees who we’ll need when this crisis passes, we are instead standing down two-thirds of our 30,000 employees until at least the end of May,” said Joyce.
“Most of our people will be using various types of paid leave during this time, and we’ll have a number of support options in place. We’re also talking to our partners like Woolworths about temporary job opportunities for our people.”
During this period, the company said, employees will be able to draw down annual and long service leave, as well as having the option to take leave at half pay.
Employees with low leave balances at the start of the stand-down will be able to access up to four weeks’ leave in advance of earning it.
However, the statement warned, “Periods of leave without pay for some employees are inevitable.”