No more agonising over colds for SIA cabin crew

Cabin crew at Singapore Airlines will no longer lose incentive points if they take time off for coughs and colds.

Singapore Airlines cabin crew will no longer have to agonise over taking sick leave when they’ve been felled by cold or coughs.

From April, the airline will cease to dock incentive points from such staff. This system is currently undergoing a broad overhaul, having previously received criticism for discouraging genuinely ill staff from resting at home.

Singapore broadsheet The Straits Times reports that the restructuring of SIA’s appraisal system is intended to "more accurately reflect [the cabin crew’s] work performance".

Presently, the system incorporates as customer feedback along with the cabin crew's knowledge of operational and regulatory matters. Each cabin crew member begins each year with 10 incentive points, which are then deducted per “casual” medical certificate (MC) recorded. An MC is considered casual if it has been submitted for common ailments, and twelve of these will deplete the cabin crew member’s entire stock of incentive points.

MCs are also incorporated into the cabin crew’s annual appraisals, making up 4% to 6% of the exercise.

The system was thrown under spotlight when a female flight attended was found dead in a US hotel room, after having allegedly informed co-workers of feeling under the weather.

Singapore’s Ministry of Manpower has noted that paid sick and hospitalisation leave is considered to be a “basic protection” under the Employment Act. 

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