Qantas Rewards Staff with A$1,000 Cash Bonus and Boosts Spending on Staff Benefits

Travel News Asia 19 August 2004

Qantas said today that it would pay a A$1,000 cash bonus to each staff member in recognition of their contribution to the airline's record 2003/04 profit results.

The company said it would also commit A$50 million over the next three years to initiatives that will assist staff to balance work and family commitments.

The Chief Executive Officer of Qantas, Geoff Dixon, said the bonus would be paid next week to all current permanent and fixed term staff employed in the Qantas Group in January 2004.

The bonus will apply equally to full and part time employees but will not be paid to executives who are already in an existing bonus scheme.

Mr Dixon said the Qantas Board appreciated that the company owed much of its recent success to the commitment and dedication of its people, and that many staff were required to balance an increasingly busy range of work and personal commitments.

"We want to provide as much assistance as possible to help our people achieve a more satisfying balance," he said.

From today, for all Qantas Group employees in Australia, the airline will:

* increase paid maternity leave from 6 to 10 weeks, with equivalent improvements for those staff groups that have special existing arrangements;

* introduce 10 weeks' paid adoption leave consistent with maternity leave;

* introduce one week's paid paternity leave;

* double the current entitlement to carers leave, to up to 10 days' leave per annum;

* launch a "keep in touch" program for staff on maternity leave.

Mr Dixon said Qantas would also build two new child care centres, one in Melbourne and one in Brisbane, and evaluate child care needs for Qantas staff in other Australian cities where the company had a significant presence.

Qantas opened a child care centre at its Sydney headquarters in May 2003, which has attracted much favourable comment.

Qantas is also to introduce a new wellbeing program for all staff, that will involve a range of health initiatives such as health screening and assessments.

Mr Dixon said that in addition to the above Group wide initiatives, each business segment had been instructed to look at how they could offer their staff greater flexibility in their working lives.

"The challenge in this task will be matching the interests of our staff with the requirements of our customers, our reliance on shift work and the demands of an increasingly competitive aviation industry.

"Just as the needs of employees vary, there will also be no single solution that meets the needs of all business areas. We will need a range of options tailored to widely varying individual and business needs.

"While innovation, commitment and flexibility will be required by staff and management, we are confident this can be achieved to the overall benefit of the Qantas Group and its people," he said.

Qantas employs 35,000 people in Australia:

- 19,500 in Sydney
- 6,700 in Melbourne
- 3,600 in Brisbane
- 1,500 in Perth
- 1,050 in Cairns
- 650 in Hobart
- 600 in Adelaide
- 250 in Canberra
- 150 in Darwin
- 1,000 in other Australian locations

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