For certain cabin crew members and other employee groups, the age for opting into VRS has been relaxed to 40 years.
“A grace amount will also be granted to employees who request voluntary retirement from June 1 through July 31, 2022, as a one-time benefit. (Those who do so will also receive an additional incentive over and above the voluntary amount,” said the order, issued Wednesday by Suresh Dutt Tripathi, AI’s chief human resource officer, a Tata Steel veteran who died after the Acquisition by the group was enacted by the Maharajah.
“Acceptance of your application for (these) benefits and the date of release are at the discretion of management. For more information on eligibility, calculation of the voluntary amount, application procedures and other issues related to the circular, please contact the GM (Personnel) of your respective region,” adds Tripathi to the order.
Aside from certain cabin crew members, the age for opting into VRS was relaxed to 40 for some clerical and unskilled grades as well. Even state-owned, AI had rolled out a VRS for some of its employees in the past two years.
Unions are questioning the move because the terms of the sale require AI new owners to retain employees for a specified period of time. Whether the introduction of a voluntary system violates this remains to be seen.
Last October, when announcing Tatas as the winner of the AI bid, Rajiv Bansal said: “AI has 12,085 employees (8,084 permanent employees and 4,001 contract employees). AI Express has 1,534 employees. They must all be kept for one year. If someone needs to be removed/dismissed in the second year, VRS must be paid.”
About 5,000 AI employees should retire over the next five years, or 1,000 annually. Sources had said that day that the VRS will be for permanent employees only and not contracted – a problem for AI Express where everyone but pilots is contracted.
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