Date of submission
Hard decision made by WestJet Company
In June, WestJet reported that the COVID-19 pandemic had caused the loss of business to 3,333 people across the world. The company said its call center in Alberta will be consolidated and operations at all but four of its 38 domestic airports, leaving Calgary, Edmonton, Vancouver, and Toronto alone. A business knew about being called Airport Terminal Services, and a company named Strategic Aviation is supplying services at the Winnipeg airport. Services will be offered at Brandon airport. The permanent layoffs will affect 110 employees in Winnipeg and 20 in Brandon in the coming days (Bloomberg, 2020). WestJet has effectively outsourced all of its jobs to third parties that depend on minimum wage staff. The Calgary-based Corporation employed 14000 people, two-thirds of the fleet until the pandemic borders were closed, WestJet said in an announcement in June. Operations decreased year-over-year by 90%. While the organization has set up a hiring freeze, cut wages for managers, vice presidents, and managers, and has paused over 75 percent of its capital projects, CEO Ed Sims has stated that painful decisions must be taken to guarantee its sustainability.
MacDonald accused the corporation of using the pandemic to relieve its direct workers from their responsibilities. What they did is they took it as a chance to get the work going forever. And this isn’t a concern with COVID (Bloomberg, 2020). A WestJet spokesperson said no other terminations are currently expected to take place in Manitoba.
Why the decision was complicated
Destroying the organization’s reputation. The termination of an employee has a significant impact on the employee’s personal life. Workers may decide to criticize your company and give it an unfavorable reputation via social media to ensure extreme retaliation.
The fired employees can sue WestJet. Terminating employees may be a costly measure, and if done improperly, the organization can incur any legal fees. Staff are protected from wrongful termination under state and federal laws. Violations of any of these laws can result in legal action.
Companies suffer losses in land and corporate secrets. If due diligence is not performed, WestJet risks losing a company’s property and files. Mainly if the fired employees had access to critical company property, sensitive records, or archives.
Finding a replacement for the employee who is on fire is a costly process. To find an employee who works well rather than a terminated employee after the pandemic is over, job advertisements, possibly paid recruiting consultants, some interviews, and higher compensation packages are required.
Constraints associated with the decision
Require advance notice for such termination of employee’s contract like the one taken by WestJet. Where a works closure or mass layoff under WARN law and parallel state mini-WARN rules are involved in the employer’s operation, the employer must be aware of regulations requiring a formal notification before an employee cancelation is implemented. The employer must be conscious of the strict laws.
Confidential information about the employees must be safeguarded WestJet. Some employees have unique access to confidential and sensitive employer or customer information. If the employee can delete or use the information after work, the employer can be damaged.
Taking into account that WestJet needed to protect clients and competition. It is well known that employers should investigate and assess any existing obstacles to prevent employees who pursue customers and employees and enter a competitive market.
Risks associated with the decision
Costs direct. One of the things a WestJet company owner thinks about when he wants to save money in a company is leaving employees to save money on pay and benefits (Cascio, 2009). But as a result of layovers that reduce savings, the business also entails costs.
Customer loyalty decreased. The removal of workers can have a significant negative impact on the retention of customers. Every client is a business asset, and the employer must find ways of retaining each of them
The distress of Emotion. While the one being laid off is most afflicted, the rest of the workers often suffer emotionally. Due to the disruption of the status quo, workers need to assume additional roles and establish new working relations that can trigger stress.
Quality staff laying
Take charge of the layoff negotiations. Mutual respect is important during the employee’s life cycle. Recruiting, preparation, onboarding, coaching, and guidance should have resulted in this recognition. It shouldn’t be any different when you fire an employee.
Determine who would be required during the transition period. Not all layoffs will be the same. Any key personnel with valuable management expertise will be retained during the transition phase.
Establish transitional worker benefits. By asking employees to stay for a transitional period, you will help them understand why they are important in the process. Consider how you can inspire employees to stick with you through this difficult time. It is customary during layoffs to have incentives that encourage workers to continue doing a good job.
Outplacement services and assistance are available. Workers may show their appreciation for the formation of goodwill before they leave. Outplacement Assistance should be given to all staff impacted by layoffs, if necessary.
Bloomberg, B. N. N. (2020, June 25). WestJet lays off 3,333 in latest round of aviation job cuts – BNN Bloomberg. BNN. http://www.bnnbloomberg.ca/westjet-lays-off-3-333-in-latest-round-of-aviation-job-cuts-1.1455760
Cascio, W. (2009). SHRM Foundation’s Effective Practice Guidelines Series StrategieS for Long-term Success Employment Downsizing and its Alternatives. https://www.shrm.org/hr-today/trends-and-forecasting/special-reports-and-expert-views/Documents/Employment-Downsizing.pdf
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