British Airways and the UK's largest union Unite have failed to reach a compromise over cabin crew job cuts and changes to working conditions, after another round of talks ended on Monday.
Hit by the slump in business class travel, BA posted record losses of £401m last year, and £148m for the first quarter of this year, prompting its chief executive, Willie Walsh, to say it was in a "fight for survival."
As part of the airline's cost-cutting plans, 1,700 full-time BA cabin crew face redundancy.
Unite says that if the plans are implemented, cabin crew should expect extended working hours, redundancies, the loss of career opportunities and new starters brought in at "bargain basement wages." The union believes this will inevitably damage customer service and hurt the brand, "possibly beyond repair."
But BA insists the changes will not damage customer service and are necessary to ensure the airline's "long-term survival."
What is redundancy?
Redundancy occurs when an employer needs to reduce the workforce for some
reason unrelated to the conduct or capability of the individual(s) concerned.
Generally, a job must disappear for an employee to be made redundant.
Employee redundancy rights
Employees have a number of redundancy rights, including the right to:
consultation before redundancy to discuss alternatives; a fair and
objective redundancy selection criteria and procedure; an
explanation of the reasons for dismissal and the basis of selection;
appeal against redundancy; try any alternative offer of employment
for four weeks; a notice period or payment in lieu of notice; take
reasonable time off, with pay, to look for alternative work or training;
and redundancy payment, provided the employee satisfies eligibility
** Additional information and advice **
If you need legal advice on redundancy, you should speak to a local solicitor who specializes in employment law.