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22% of SIA staff volunteer for unpaid leave

written by Hannah Dowling | August 12, 2020

An SIA A380-800 lands at Singapore Changi Airport.

Over 6,000 of the 27,000 staff members at Singapore Airlines (SIA) Group – which comprises Singapore Airlines, SilkAir and Scoot – have taken unpaid leave since March, to help the company navigate through the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent collapse of international travel demand.

Further, over 1,700 employees, including pilots, cabin crew and ground staff, have opted to take up volunteer positions, or short-term jobs at other organisations, including in hospitals, social services and the city-state’s public transport system.

“Many of our crew have also volunteered with various roles within the company,” one SIA spokesperson told the media.

SIA has been facilitating these temporary redeployments of its staff through its ‘employee support portal’, which also provides resources to staff for their financial, mental and physical wellbeing.

Notably, SIA has not been required to cut any staff in order to save cash throughout the pandemic period through these methods of redeployment, and requesting staff to volunteer to take up unpaid leave.

It is believed that pilots and cabin crew within the organisation are still receiving their usual base pay, although are not receiving any of their allowances on top, which substantially increases their take home pay under normal circumstances.

Meanwhile, for staff who are undertaking temporary roles in other organisations, their pay can vary. SIA is reportedly helping to supplement the salaries of those worked who are earning less than their basic pay.


The SIA Group is also utilising government assistance to retain the jobs of all of its staff, while running at approximately just 7 per cent of its usual flying capacity.


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