Qantas has officially lost its appeal it lodged to turn around a ruling that labelled the redundancy of 1,700 ground handles and outsourcing of critical functions of Australian airports unlawful.
The latest appeal has revealed that Qantas illegally made over a thousand ground handlers’ roles redundant during the height of the pandemic by using unlawful justification.
All this was part of Qantas’ bid to cut down costs when travel demand had plummeted to essentially zero for both domestic and international operations for Australia due to strict lockdown procedures in each state.
The High Court handed down the judgement, essentially upholding two rulings made by the Federal Court.
Qantas notes that while it acknowledges upholding the verdict, it was forced to make such cuts to its business to protect it for years. Adding that the restructuring was to help the future recovery and ultimately to help it survive.
The Australian flag-carriers outsourcing, especially in critical business areas since the COVID-19 pandemic, has been a crucial attribute to why the airline’s reputation has also gone down the gutter with a customer support team providing more problems than answers to customers over recent years.
While those who were illegally fired won’t return to their roles, they will be entitled to receive compensation, and Qantas will likely see a slap on the wrists, too, in the realm of a fine.
Following this ruling and despite Alan Joyce departing the airline as their CEO, there are still calls for a substantial reshuffle to the board. Analysts and ex-Qantas employees believe it is necessary to transform the company’s image truly.