British Airways

Thank you for contacting me about British Airways.
 
I fully appreciate that this must be a very worrying and upsetting time for British Airways employees and their families.  I regret the commercial decisions that BA have announced, not least because the airline was benefiting from the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, which was not designed to fund the wages of employees only for companies to put the same staff on notice of redundancy during the furlough period.

There can be no doubt the aviation sector is facing serious challenges.  However, making use of the unprecedented support available, such as the Covid Corporate Financing Facility and of course the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, is clearly preferable to making employees redundant.  Organisations who do decide to make employees redundant should do so with fairness.  Indeed, businesses are judged by the way they behave and by the way they treat their employees, and British Airways are no different.

During this difficult time, it is only right that employers should act responsibly and therefore only use the Job Retention Scheme to protect jobs.  I understand that the Government is urging employers not to use the Job Retention Scheme to make someone redundant on less favourable terms than they would otherwise have received.

I also want to reassure you that the Department for Work and Pensions nonetheless stands ready to help affected employees identify and access the support that is available.

Going forward I will continue to monitor the situation very closely and listen to the views of those here in our constituency.  I will convey the concerns raised with me to my Ministerial colleagues.

Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.