Virgin has recently informed staff that they must take annual leave balances in excess of one year. While the company can direct team members to take annual leave, this request must be reasonable.
Under Virgin policy and the EBA, accrued leave should be taken within 12 months of it being accrued. The EBA also provides staff with the option of cashing out a portion of your annual leave where you have a balance in excess of 1 year. In order for leave to be cashed out mutual agreement must be reached between the staff member and the company, and the agreement put in writing.
If you are currently having any issues regarding your annual leave you should contact your delegates or organiser urgently. Remember, all union members are entitled to take a union representative into any meeting with the company.
We also encourage all staff to monitor their leave entitlements and check payslips regularly to ensure they are correct. You should also keep a copy of any correspondence between you and the company regarding your leave.
The recent announcement comes after Virgin’s payroll review late last year which resulted in a number of staff having annual leave deducted due to incorrect accruals. The ASU held numerous meetings with the company, both locally and nationally, to request that staff not be penalised for Virgin’s own system errors. The ASU also presented a petition signed by over a hundred staff members calling on the company to not dock leave balances. Despite this clear message from staff, Virgin insisted on deducting all incorrectly credited leave.
Given the recent issues with leave at Virgin it is crucial that members are reviewing their payslips regularly. If you have any issues you should contact the company, in writing, as soon as possible. If the matter is not resolved you should contact the union for further assistance and advice.