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Attrition woes: Air India to stop post-retirement benefits

business Updated: Jul 12, 2016 11:19 IST
Tushar Srivastava
Tushar Srivastava
Hindustan Times
Air India

According to sources, the government has also barred fresh hiring for the national carrier (HT File)

To stem the attrition of employees, national carrier Air India (AI) has decided to stop extending post-retirement benefits such as free passages (tickets) and medical facilities to those seeking voluntary retirement from the company.

AI, like other Indian carriers, has seen employees leave for greener pastures abroad, especially to join airlines in the Gulf, or poached by domestic rivals.

“I strongly feel that the company should stop extending post-retirement passages and medical benefits to its employees who seek voluntary retirement, or resign from the service, except due to extreme medical reasons. This should be applicable also in cases where the application of voluntary retirement is pending at present,” chairman and managing director Ashwani Lohani said in an internal note, accessed by the HT.

Sources said the government has barred fresh hiring in the company, except for pilots and cabin crew, which has added to AI’s problems.

“The company is passing through difficult times at present. The attrition of various categories of staff, including those in the licensed category, is a matter of extreme concern as presently the company has been restricted from recruiting staff on regular basis,” Lohani wrote.

Other AI officials also expressed concern over the attrition rate.

“The company is losing experienced employees when it is most wanted,” said an official.

AI is considered to have one of the best medical policies for employees, which are available to them post-retirement as well, and the company hopes that withdrawing these perks will help stop the resignations.

“Of late, I have noticed a large number of applications from the employees seeking voluntary retirement; obviously most of such employees are seeking greener pastures. It needs appreciation that such attrition is extremely detrimental for the company, especially in the present critical juncture, and therefore cannot be encouraged in any circumstances. In fact, such attrition of employees, much before their actual date of retirement needs to be actively discouraged unless of course it is due to extreme medical reasons. The above is necessary as we have to keep the interest of the company supreme, especially at this crucial juncture in the life of the airline,” the note said.