Is Prestwick Aircraft Maintenance Limited the worst employer in Scotland?

8 April 2020

Over 20 staff from Prestwick Aircraft Maintenance Limited (PAML) have seen their contracts terminated after they refused a 50% pay cut imposed by their employer who refuses to furlough staff and insists that they still come to work.

Staff, represented by Prospect, are demanding that the employer takes this step as the work they are doing does not meet the test of essential work set up by the Scottish Government.

PAML is a principal contractor of the airline Ryanair. Staff have been faced with a 50% pay cut, where PAML claimed to simply be following Ryanair’s lead.

Unlike most other companies in the aviation sector it is refusing to used Coronovirus Job Retention scheme to furlough staff with 80% of their salary being paid by the government.

PAML claims the work they are doing is essential as it relates to medical and repatriation flights. However this is strongly disputed by employees who say there are instead doing routine maintenance of aircraft that are not currently flying. The fact that some workers have now had their contracts terminated also suggests that the work is not in fact essential.

After nearly four weeks of complaints from staff the company have finally introduced social distancing rules, however as the work being done is not essential it is clear from the Scottish Government’s guidance that this is not enough and the company should close with staff furloughed.

PAML is based at Prestwick Airport which is owned by the Scottish Government.

David Avery, Prospect negotiations officer said:

“The way that PAML are behaving is a disgrace. You have to ask are they Scotland’s worst employer?

“While we cautiously welcome the social distancing rules that have been introduced, it’s a month too late, and the Scottish Government guidance is clear that this company should close.

“We demand that the company behave responsibly, reinstate the staff they have dismissed and then use the furlough scheme.

“Ryanair have a role to play too. PAML is a principle contractor and it is their aircraft being maintained. They need to tell PAML to stop putting their workers, their families and the wider community at risk.”


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