Qantas bulletin

Qantas has announced that 2500 workers would be stood down for at least two months from 18 August 2021. The USU/ASU met with Qantas on Thursday, 5 August for consultation about the stand down. Disappointingly, Qantas didn’t have answers for many important questions. We’ve locked in another consultation meeting for Tuesday, 10 August. Hopefully, we’ll have more answers for you then.

Who will be stood down?
Qantas says that there will be new stand downs in Sydney, Brisbane, Canberra, Melbourne and Adelaide. Qantas were unable to provide us with the detailed of which roles would be affected by the stand downs. We have asked them to provide that as soon as possible.

How will work be rostered?
Your current rosters will apply until 17 August. After from 18 August, the following rules will apply:

  • Staff will be notified of their stand down or work roster on 10 August via web roster. You will receive a written notification of your stand down later.
  • Rosters/Stand Downs will be published in two week blocks until further notice.
  • You will receive at least 7 days’ notice of your roster/next stand down.
  • Available work will be rotated using the current work allocation principles.

Annual leave
Qantas confirmed that employees will be allowed to request leave or cancel leave during the stand down period. We have asked if employees will be able to cancel or bring forward leave planned for after the lock down.

Special Leave Without Pay (SLWOP) and Leave Without Pay (LWOP)
New applications will open for SLWOP. Applications for SLWOP or LWOP will close on 13 August. The company will grant applications subject to operational requirements. Qantas say they will only grant SLWOP for the stand down period (which they believe will be 8 weeks). We have asked them to consider offering longer periods of SLWOP, so stood down employees have more certainty. Any new SLWOP will start on or after 1 September 2021.
We have asked Qantas to relax the requirement to use annual leave entitlements before accessing SLWOP. We are waiting on an answer.

Support for stood down employees
We have asked Qantas to provide us with the details of the recently announced Domestic Readiness Payment (‘DRP’). We need to know:

  • Who is eligible for the (‘DRP’)?
  • Are employees on SLWOP eligible for the DRP?
  • How will the DRP interact with the Disaster Relief Payments some employees are already receiving?
  • How will the DRP be paid?
  • What happens to stood down employees who are receiving the IRP?

We’ve asked Qantas to find urgent answers to these questions. Members will need this information to make decisions about their future.

The USU/ASU is calling on the Federal Government to do more to support airline sector workers. We need a single, simple, easy to access support payment for all airline workers. No one in the industry should be left out.

Pass this bulletin to your colleagues who aren’t in the union. They can join at

If you have any questions about this email or need any assistance at work, please contact your USU organiser Thomas Russell on 0419 761 320 or via email at