British low-cost airline Jet2 is offering its entire workforce a £1,000 ‘thank you’ bonus each if they survive a busy summer season that chief executive Steve Heapy says will be a “tremendous challenge”.
The bonus offer mimics an incentive plan from low-cost rival easyJet to keep cabin crew and other in-demand front-line workers from quitting during the next few months when passenger numbers are expected to beat pre-pandemic levels.
Jet2 has managed to avoid some of the chaos affecting holiday companies like TUI which has been forced to cancel dozens of flights due to staff shortages but the same recruitment challenges, including delays in mandatory security vetting, are affecting Jet2.
Although Jet2 has so far managed to avoid any staffing-related cancellation, Heapy has complained to Transport Secretary Grant Shapps about the lack of candidates in the employment market because “Brexit has taken hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of people out of the job market”.
Heapy was forced to deny allegations that he told Shapps that the current recruitment challenges were a result of “lazy Brits who live off benefits and sit on their arses”.
A spokesperson for Jet2 said the comments were “categorically” not Heapy’s words or feelings but acknowledged that Heapy had bemoaned the effects that Brexit has had on the job market.
Shapps has refused to temporarily ease immigration rules to allow European workers to fill vacancies throughout the aviation industry.
“As you are aware, the last few weeks has been a tremendous challenge and the airline industry has received a lot of negative media attention,” Heapy told workers in a recent memo.
“Given the inflationary environment we are currently experiencing, we want to reward your dedication and hard work,” the memo continues. Heapy outlined how workers would receive an immediate 4 per cent pay rise, along with a £1,000 thank you bonus which will only be paid at the end of the summer.
Heapy says the bonus will let employees “splash out on a little treat”.
EasyJet also plans to pay cabin crew a £1,000 bonus for working throughout the summer, while British Airways is offering a sign-on bonus of £1,000 for workers who fill critical vacancies on the ground.
Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the most prominent airline in the Middle East and has been flying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centric stories. Always keeping an ear close to the ground, Matt's industry insights, analysis and news coverage is frequently relied upon by some of the biggest names in journalism.