Payouts start for SAA cabin crew and ground staff as government helps with cash

16 February 2021 - 13:13
SAA staff exit payouts have begun. Stock photo.
SAA staff exit payouts have begun. Stock photo.

Cabin crew and ground staff employees who took voluntary severance packages at SAA last year have begun receiving their payouts, the airline's business rescue practitioners said on Tuesday.

The voluntary severance packages (VSP) include one month’s notice payment in lieu of notice, payment of the full entitlement of accrued leave as at termination dates signed in their VSP, a pro rata 13th cheque if applicable, and 2019 salary increase of 5.9% back pay to VSP applicants if applicable.

The rescue practitioners’ spokesperson, Louise Brugman, said the payment follows the receipt of a further tranche of R5bn from the department of public enterprises on February 12, which allowed the BRPs to confirm the second payment on February 19.

Since Friday, the BRPs have received a total of R7.8bn in funding from the department to implement the commitments of the business rescue plan, Brugman said.

These remuneration elements will include one week’s remuneration for each completed year of service, VSP top-up if applicable and VSP incentive if applicable.

Brugman said management, specialists and pilots who took VSPs will be paid out on Wednesday under part 1 of the payment plan.

She said part 2 payments will take place this Friday.

“The payment of VSPs in two parts is in line with the signed voluntary severance terminations agreement,” business rescue practitioner Siviwe Dongwana said.

Brugman said part 2 payments will be made to all VSP applicants for whom the BRPs have received tax directives.

Where employees do not have a tax number on application for the directive, an application will be made on their behalf for a tax number. However, she warned that there might be a delay in payments made in respect of part 2 while the BRPs await allocation of tax numbers to those employees who don’t have one.

“The VSP programme included 3,246 employee acceptances across all categories and closed at the end of August 2020. Employees who signed the VSPs effectively concluded their employment with SAA and exited the company at that time.

“Also noteworthy is that the BRPs made tranche 4 payments to 164 individuals who accepted the three-month salary settlement agreement and 13th cheque payment to 53 non-VSP employees.

“A total of 82% of employees have been paid in terms of the settlement agreement.”