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Flight home benefits impacted during pandemic

Spinnaker surveyed 29 members of the Maritime HR Association to find out what companies are doing with the ‘flight home’ benefit this year in light of the coronavirus pandemic.

39% of the companies said they will be carrying the benefit over to next year. 29% said the benefit will be lost.

Some companies pay a cash allowance to cover the cost of an annual flight home. Some companies include the cost of a flight home in to the employees base salary, so it was not an issue for them.

For those companies that said the flight home benefit will simply be lost due to the pandemic, we know some members will carry over this allowance in exceptional circumstances.

Companies have differed in the timescale their employees are able to use up the benefit in 2021, some allow them for the whole of the year, where some companies have urged employees to use their flights by the summer.

Regardless of the pandemic some members always give employees the option of paid flights, or a cash equivalent. Two companies said they would buy out the unused flight if the employee was unable to fly home due to COVID. Whereas some members have said they would cover 50% of the cost of the flight.

Companies are all adjusting and re-evaluating in these unusual circumstances this year, and it looks as though the knock on effects of it will last well into 2021, though recent news of the successful and promising vaccines gives us the impression that we may see some semblance of normality in 2021.

Find out more about the Maritime HR Association here.

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