Are you afraid to call sick for a flight thinking that it will affect your performance and delay your career progression? Do you feel “cornered” by company policy?
You are not alone! Every airline around the world will always have strict policies against cabin crew sick leaves.
These policies drew much attention lately following the unfortunate passing of Singapore Airlines Cabin crew, Vanessa Yeap, on January 31st, 2017.
Read along and see how airlines will still hold their ground against a policy that is obviously inhumane and doesn’t belong in the 21st century.
No matter which airline you are with, you’ll definitely relate to what’s going on in Singapore Airlines.
Uproar Caused By Flawed Singapore Airlines Medical Leave System
Reports in the tabloids, social media and radio airwaves have represented the perspectives of both cabin crew and the airline. The cabin crew is asking for better medical leave conditions while the airline maintains its defense of what seems to be unjust conditions as they penalize cabin crew for medical leave due to normal but still contagious ailments.
The fiasco resulted in an internal memo, dated February 8th, 2017, to the carrier’s 10,000 strong cabin crew from the Division’s Vice President. Its content is clearly defiant only to show that the airline is still totally unrepentant and oblivious to the situation at hand.
Read the memo below:
While the airline continues to defend its position, service industry professionals have since expressed concerns over of the airlines’ responses to the media and how it interprets the guidelines mandated by Singapore’s Ministry of Manpower (MOM).
The airlines’ existing policies are suggestive of fear mongering and more empathy should be accorded to its 10,000 strong cabin crew workforce.
I hereby call to question what appears to be Singapore Airlines’ hardline stance on this matter.
As with Singapore Airlines, any employer that includes medical leave as part of an appraisal element and playing “GOD” to departmentalize which sick leave as “Casual” or “Non-Casual” – and in turn demerit points from the employee thus impacting bonus and promotion – is reckless and irresponsible.
Opinions today remain divided on how this would conform to acceptable Human Resource practices. But Singapore Airlines is without doubt defying medical opinion – one that is professionally accorded by decree.
Today’s appraisal system for Singapore Airlines’ cabin crew is as follows:
Focusing on “Good Attendance Award”, this takes the following into account:
So what qualifies as “Casual” medical leave?
Well, essentially everything, except for chicken pox, measles, cholera, typhoid, shingles (herpes zoster), mumps, paratyphoid, hepatitis, scabies, prolapsed invertebral disc, otitis media, fracture and / or ligament tear, bells palsy, paralysis, hand foot and mouth disease, gout, dengue fever, wisdom tooth surgery, chikungunya, tonsillitis; as well as those that require hospitalization, chemotherapy; or are the result from work related injuries.
So, if you’re suffering from flu, fever, diarrhea or conjunctivitis, you’re gonna get penalized if you file for absenteeism.
A mentality of master and slave with very little compassion for crew.
I remain appalled as to how the airline can brazenly defend its somewhat “slavery and servitude” mandate as being compliant with MOM guidance.
What The Ministry Of Manpower Has To Say
i) Paid sick and hospitalisation leave is a basic protection under the Employment Act and is also a core benefit in collective agreements. Employers should avoid penalising an employee solely based on his consumption of sick leave.
ii) Employers should appraise their employees fairly by taking into consideration “ability, performance and contributions”.
Singapore Airlines’ Statement to the Public:
a) “Crew members who are given medical leave are encouraged to rest and recuperate at home. Operating with an MC is a disciplinary lapse…”
b) “As with all other businesses, employee productivity and attendance at work are important for a successful airline operation.”
c) “Although crew attendance is a component in the performance management process, we would like to emphasise that crew performance is measured across many other factors.”
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