Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office and Minister of Finance and Economy II Dato Seri Setia Dr Awang Haji Mohd Amin Liew bin Abdullah said Royal Brunei Airlines (RB) employees were expected to take two months’ leave from April 1 to May 31, during a press conference on Wednesday.
“It is an effort to try to help each other. RB has about 1,700 employees. We are operating five per cent of the flights and we can’t have everybody turning up for work. At the same time, we are also observing social distancing and other measures,” he said.
He is aware that some employees might not have accumulated enough leave to cover the whole two months.
“The company came up with a few schemes. Employees with salary below BND1,500 were given five days extra leave. Those that have done voluntary work will get an extra day. The employees can bring forward 25 per cent of next year’s leave.”
He said due to the nature of RB employees’ work, some have in lieus, overtime that can be used.
For those that still can’t cover two months’ leave, they can pay it off via an 18-month instalment.
“We encourage RB employees to see the management to work out a suitable arrangement.”
The minister said the scheme is not to make things difficult for RB employees but to help each other out by not sacking local staff except for those with disciplinary issues.
“In RB, we are doing five per cent of business compared to normal times and we don’t sack any locals. We are trying to protect the company so that one day, when we are free from COVID-19, we can go back to normal and we don’t have to start training people,” he said.
He said it is a give-and-take between employee and employer.
“I know some of the employees would say this is not their fault, but this is not the company’s fault either. This is nobody’s fault. We are caught in this bad situation. Nobody asked for this. We need to come together and find a solution together,” he said.