Air India has rolled out a voluntary retirement scheme for some of its permanent employees who are either over 55 years of age or have completed two decades in the airline.

For certain employees and departments of the company, Air India has relaxed the retirement age from 55 years to 40. This includes the airlines’ cabin crew.

The airline has offered ex-gratia payments to all employees who apply for voluntary retirement between June 1, 2022 and July 31, 2022.

“An ex-gratia amount will also be provided to employees who apply for voluntary retirement from June 1 to July 31, 2022,” Air India’s chief of human resource said in a memo seen by local news. “Those who do will also receive an additional incentive over and above the ex-gratia amount,” 

Local unions are questioning the voluntary retirement scheme on the grounds that the terms of Air India’s sale require the new owners to retain employees for a certain amount of time, The Times of India reports. However, it is not confirmed whether the timing of the voluntary retirement scheme actually violates those grounds.

Conglomerate Tata Sons officially took over Air India in January 2022.

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