easyJet refuses to bridge furlough salary gap

21 April 2020

EasyJet has refused to make up the 20% difference in salary for staff who have been furloughed under the government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

Staff in the company’s management and administration were furloughed first. The company then announced that staff in engineering and maintenance would also be furloughed.

Staff who earn less than £37,500 will be affected by the 80% of salary rule. Those who earn more than £37,500 will receive £2,500 through the scheme.

There is a difference of opinion whether overtime should be included in the calculation. Prospect is currently seeking legal advice and guidance from the Department for Transport.

Prospect pressed easyJet to make up the difference in the furlough capped amount and members’ salary. This has become the norm across the industry and the wider economy. But easyJet refused to do so.

Prospect offered various alternative solutions to the problem such as all staff sharing some of the pain equally with a temporary drop in pay. This is what staff in the airline management board and executive leadership team are doing.

Another idea was to have three-week furloughs for half of the volunteers followed by three weeks for the other half. But easyJet rejected these ideas.

Prospect negotiator John Stevenson said:

“We obviously recognise the costs to the company of temporarily ceasing flying. But it is disappointing that easyJet is willing to take taxpayers’ money, but not willing to financially support employees out of its own resources,” he added.

Staff will be asked to volunteer to furlough for the month of May. They are being asked, rather than told, as it would be a breach of contract if furlough was forced on them by their employer.



Prospect has members working in aviation, road, rail and maritime transportation, as well as regulation and research.