Ryanair faces government probe over staff conditions

Under fire Ryanair faces a probe by two parliamentary committees after allegations about employee working conditions.

These include claims that the airline has been “trying to wriggle out” of paying its staff the national minimum wage.

Frank Field, who chairs the work and pensions committee, and Rachel Reeves, chair of the business select committee, have written to chief executive Michael O’Leary calling for answers to a string of allegations raised by Ryanair staff.

The claims come after the airline agreed to recognise pilot and cabin crew unions to avert a pre-Christmas strike.

The letter to O’Leary sets out detailed allegations, including staff having to pay £25 a month for their uniform in the first year of employment and having a £175 “administration cost” taken from their salaries if they leave the company in the first 15 months of employment, The Guardian reported.

Field said: “Sadly, it will not surprise me if the sorry picture painted here is true: a company that turned in £1.15 billion profit last year squeezing its workers.

“People who work long, hard hours and have an important role in passenger safety, and yet apparently cannot count on receiving the national minimum wage – or even close to it.”

Reeves said: “These allegations of hours of unpaid work, of charges for uniforms, of fees being incurred to leave, suggest a company falling well short of its duty to the staff who help their planes get off the ground and who spend the flight attending to and serving its paying customers.

“Ryanair now need to provide answers on the fees and charges faced by cabin staff and set out how they ensure these staff are receiving the national minimum wage.”

Ryanair said: “We will respond to the sub-committee in early January as requested, however the claims about cabin crew pay and working conditions are false.

“Ryanair cabin crew earn between €24,000 [£21,300] to €40,000, which is more than double the UK national minimum wage.”

Share article

View Comments

Jacobs Media is honoured to be the recipient of the 2020 Queen's Award for Enterprise.

The highest official awards for UK businesses since being established by royal warrant in 1965. Read more.