SIA’s executive draws flak for questioning cabin crew’s job skills level

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Facebook user Nurul Sharafudin flagged a Cabin Crew Executive (CCE) of Singapore Airlines (SIA) for calling into question the job skills level of the airline’s crew. The CCE who was identified as Sarah Tan by the user, was commenting on news that some cabin crew working for the airlines expressed unhappiness over the company’s medical leave system.

SIA’s medical leave system came under the spotlight after the death of its stewardess, Vanessa Yeap (age 38). Vanessa was found dead in a San Francisco hotel room on 1 Feb by her colleagues after she failed to turn up for the return flight to Singapore. She was sick for two days before the incident.

Facebook user, Philip Lim, who responded to the news of Vanessa’s death claimed SIA crew avoided going on medical leave even when sick because it would affect their chances of a promotion. He also claimed SIA rewards its flight crew if they maintain an MC-free year.

https://www.facebook.com/nurul.sharafudin/posts/10154348665707061?pnref=story

The user also shared a picture of SIA’s internal staff directory where Sarah was listed as part of “Talent Management” and her roles include “Crew Promotion Exercise”. Sarah said in her post:

“Can’t stand keyboard warriors now, if you wish to comment, please use your brains…
  1. “Crew report sick then cancel flight” – how would you feel if you were the passenger & had a connecting flight to catch?
  2. “Performance shouldn’t correlate to physical presence” – but you job is to be present in the service line.
  3. “The entitlement of MCs should not penalize the crew” – if you guys don’t know, we still pay the crew who are on long term MC and they just sit around in the office doing nothing because of the job skills level they have. Even when given work to do, half the time they disappear and work isn’t done at all, yet we are forced to pay them because of SQ HR policies”

The executive’s views were also made known to SIA, who responded that they were reviewing it internally with their staff.

It is unclear if the views expressed by the CCE is also the view of SIA, but the airlines said in an internal circular on 8 Feb that it was guided by MOM policies with respect to paid sick leave as “a basic protection” under the Employment Act. SIA added that it recognises that people do fall sick and that it firmly encourages crew to rest and not to operate when they are not well.