Ryanair was yesterday accused by MPs of ‘fobbing them off’ over how much it pays its cabin crew.
Two Commons select committees are investigating the budget airline over the payment of cabin crew hired by third-party agencies, which could be in breach of minimum wage laws.
Ryanair stewards claim they are forced to work unpaid for as many as five hours a day. The revelations came from an undercover investigation by the Daily Mail, which found that hours worked on the ground – cleaning, security checks and during flight delays – are unpaid.
Ryanair was yesterday accused by MPs of ‘fobbing them off’ over how much it pays its cabin crew (file photo)
New recruits pay £2,000 to be trained, they are charged a fee if they quit within the first 15 months, and they must be available for airport standby days, where they only get paid £3.75 per hour.
Last month, Rachel Reeves, chairman of the Commons business committee, and Frank Field, chairman of the work and pensions committee, wrote to Michael O’Leary, Ryanair’s chief executive.
They asked him what cabin crew are paid for all their hours worked.
They also asked for an explanation of the termination fee, and clarification on how many cabin crew were hired for Ryanair via third-party agencies Crewlink and Workforce International.
Ryanair responded saying it was ‘disappointed’ that the committees ‘would give credence to inaccurate content, false claims and sensationalist reportage’.
It argued that its cabin crew ‘earn between 24,000 euros (£21,300) to 40,000 euros (£35,500), which is more than double the UK national minimum wage’.
Last month, MPs wrote to Michael O’Leary, Ryanair’s chief executive, to ask what cabin crew were paid. But they slammed the airline’s response
The airline – Europe’s largest – said its ‘direct recruits are paid a combination of basic pay, flight pay and commission’. But it would not state the earnings of its agency-recruited cabin crew, nor how many of its workforce are third-party workers.
Yesterday Mr Field said: ‘I am not sure where the impression has come from that you can fob off two select committees with half and non-answers, but these are serious issues and we expect a serious response.’
And Miss Reeves said: ‘Evasive responses to serious allegations about failure to pay the national minimum wage, of hours of unpaid work, of fees being incurred to leave just isn’t good enough.’
Last night a spokesman for Ryanair said: ‘Ryanair has already replied to this Committee in December confirming that our cabin crew pay is more than double the rate of UK national minimum wage.
‘Ryanair complies fully with all UK and EU employment law. Ryanair will not be replying to the detailed information requested in this letter which would require us to disclose confidential employment information which would be of benefit to our competitors. As an Irish company, Ryanair is under no obligation to do so.’