Ryanair facing investigation in UK over working conditions
MPs Frank Field and Rachel Reeves write to Michael O’Leary after claims of staff being underpaid and having to pay for uniforms
Ryanair said: “Ryanair cabin crew earn between €24,000 to €40,000, which is more than double the UK national minimum wage.”
Ryanair is to be investigated by two UK parliamentary committees following allegations over employee working conditions at the airline.
MPs Frank Field and Rachel Reeves, chairs of the Work and Pensions and Business select committees, have written to the airline’s chief executive, Michael O’Leary, seeking answers to claims of staff being underpaid, having to pay for their own uniforms and incurring fees when they leave.
Ms Reeves accused the company of “trying to wiggle out” of paying the UK’s National Minimum Wage. Ryanair dismissed the allegations as false, saying its cabin crew earn “more than double the UK national minimum wage”.
Labour politician Mr 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.”
He said that the two committees “will be investigating these allegations further”.
The letter to Mr O’Leary sets out in detail the allegations, which include staff having to pay £25 per month for their uniform in the first year of employment and incurring a £175 “administration cost”, taken from their salaries, if they leave in the first 15 months.
Ms 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 to €40,000, which is more than double the UK national minimum wage.”
Ryanair earlier this week said it is to recognise cabin crew unions for the first time as part of a major shake-up in employee relations.