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Qantas: Suspended employees can work at Woolworths

written by Adam Thorn | March 19, 2020

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.”

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Comments (4)

  • john


    massive pay drop working for Woolies

  • Harry


    First step should be to stop people having to go to the supermarket so often in search of food where they only risk getting infected. By managing peoples rash behaviour the need for extra workers will not be there and any that are required should be those that become unemployed rather than stood down. Many Qantas staff have OH$S training and would be better being upskilled as required and redeployed in assisting healthcare providers.

  • Carolyn Neylan


    What does Woolies say about this. Would QANTAS employ Woolies’ staff who were stoid down given a similar situation. I don’t think so.

    • Mary B


      These are desperate times-what a mean comment when 20,000 staff from qantas have been stood down, same for Virgin and thousands more in other smaller airlines.

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