05.Mar.2008 : HR Briefing
Today was the Briefing with HR. It took place at the new EGHQ building. First a checklist session with Alavia and then an interview with Helena. I must say that having struggled with the decision and discussed it to endless lengths with Meg and some close friends, it’s annoying to go through it again with HR. But that’s normal I guess … part of the frustration of an exit process like this is that if I genuinely believed that the reasons for leaving were likely to be corrected, or in some cases even possible to correct – I’d stay.
The good news is that despite what the paperwork says, Ek doesn’t hold your last month’s salary. They hold 4000 dhs ($1200 AUD) for 6-8 weeks, after which time a final settlement is paid. Which seems reasonable on my pay scale to cover the various mobile, phone, accommodation and other charges that may arise. That’s a huge relief.
The bad news is that all staff travel tickets are to be paid for over the counter at the new EGHQ in cash. There is some confusion about this – it could be that paying by credit card is available also – I’ll let you know. Since Meg, the kids and I are headed to New York on the 20th, and I didn’t have the foresight to order the tickets before I resigned, it looks like I will need to find 8000+ dhs ($2500 AUD) to pay for the tickets, and travel to EGHQ to get them (not sure which is worse, actually).
All tickets you order during your resignation period will come with expiry dates 30 days after your resignation date. Any tickets ordered before you resign will not be honoured past the 30 day point. Tickets you order and don’t use can be refunded using a mechanism I haven’t identified yet – which will be interesting considering you won’t have a salary being paid, or a bank account to put the money into – can you imagine telex transferring the refund of a downgrade on a MEL-SIN sector to a bank account in Oz ?? All of this is squarely aimed at employees who are resigning and attempting to steal from the system. I wish being treated like that was something new …
Interestingly the paragraph that details this specifically mentions Emirates tickets, no mention of OAL (other airlines). Given that I don’t know when Staff Travel will kick in for my next airline, taking a few strategic QF Zed fare tickets with me – hopefully with the enormous 3 month validity Zed fares now come with – might be useful.
Finally, after almost 13 years of service, with resignation/retirement I’m eligible for … nothing. I would need to stay to 15 years in order to be eligible for some staff travel privileges post Emirates. The good news is that my accumulated SRC (service related concession) tickets will continue to be available for up to a year after my resignation date. I have two firm and four standby SRC’s in the bank, which means we will probably be doing a holiday to/through Dubai with my first leave from VA.
Interestingly, I re-examined my original contract and I have a hand-written summary on the back identifying retirement targets and the benefits associated. I have written “10 Years – Ek Tickets Only”. However I can’t find anywhere documentation to support this. At the time the HR guide was a printed document, it was some time after that they attempted to go electronic (they still haven’t actually achieved it to my mind) and I didn’t keep a copy. I’ve contacted other guys with my joining date – they have similar recollections and no documentation. HR have been unable to assist (go figure). All I have is a document dated August 1996 (6 months after I joined) introducing SRC tickets and moving the tickets-after-retirement-years to 15. I think I’m going to lose this one …
Freight is going to be interesting. Based on my length of service, I can have 18,500 dhs ($6,000 AUD) of freight back to home port. I used the word port specifically – the quote must be Door (Jumeirah) to Port (Melbourne). Those who’ve done it before know that the Port to Door part at the end is pretty expensive and time consuming – especially in Australia. If all three quotes are above 18.5K then 18.5K is what I get. Otherwise, I get the lowest one. The paperwork says I must include a quote from Freight Works, who are an Emirates subsidiary and of course give us a big discount. Unfortunately I used them to move house during the first of my famous two-house-moves-in-three-years and for reasons I won’t go into here – I won’t use them again, particularly not for a move across thousands of miles by ship with all the items we consider worth taking with us.
I think there’s going to be some thought required on the date I book the move. I don’t want it to be too early since I may well have to move out once all the stuff has gone – nothing to sleep on! Note the 18,500 can be used to ship via Emirates Air Freight as well. So that’s an option if you don’t have much to move back and you want it in a hurry.
I meant to ask about luggage allowance on the repatriation tickets – I’ll fire off an e-mail to Alavia.
The family and I also have the option of repatriation tickets. These are firm seat, bookable business upgradeable to first (except for the kids) tickets home. At least, they’re bookable if you get in early enough – like a leave ticket. It’s going to absolutely kill me, but I can’t use Meg and the kids’ tickets. They’re coming here in March/April for a last holiday, and they’re already on firm tickets (ALT & ELT). Damn. As an airline a firm seat ticket is like money in the bank – it’s a nice feeling and it’s so pleasant travelling like a real passenger for once. Not being able to use our repatriation tickets is a shocking waste.
Leaving Date – No Can Do.
Finally the leaving date is going to be a problem. My cunning plan to make the RG days on the 1/2/3 June, bid for days off at the end of May to leave early and still receive profit share is coming un-done. For it seems if I were to do that – lets say I scored 7 days off at the end of May, processed the paperwork during the first 3 working days and jumped the flight the next day which would be the 26th May – HR would then re-adjust my resignation date to be the 26th of the month, recalculating my pay for that month (it would come out of the 4000 dhs) and then strip away Profit Share because I was not employed on the date it was paid – Hallas. So it looks like I will bid for a few less days off before the end of the month – say 6, cancel the visa and book the flight for the 29th – depending on the weekend and it’s affect on pay date.
It’s all a learning process, with knowledge gained through continual questioning, thinking about what I’m being told, and more questions again. Why doesn’t someone write all this down so the process can be undertaken will full fore-knowledge. Wait, that’s what I’m doing. Right.
Next Week : I tackle the issue of SmashWreckBank (Mashreq). After 12 years of crappy service and at times incredible levels of frustration, I begin the process of extricating myself from their clutches. Surely they’ll be helpful in letting me go – they’ve been trying to drive me away for so long …
Blog series: Leaving Emirates
- Leaving Emirates #1 The Blog
- Leaving Emirates #2 Resignation
- Leaving Emirates #4 HR Briefing
- Leaving Emirates #3 The Paperwork
- Leaving Emirates #5 School Fees and SmashWreckBank
- Leaving Emirates #6 Goodbye Email
- Leaving Emirates #7 Well Wishers
- Leaving Emirates #8 Becoming a Flight Risk; Losing my ID
- Leaving Emirates #9 The Accommodation Frustration.
- Leaving Emirates #10 Emirates, the Pilot-Less Airline.
- Leaving Emirates #11 Fright Worx
- Leaving Emirates #12 Staff (don’t get to) Travel
- Leaving Emirates #13 Staff Travel’s 45 day rule.
- Leaving Emirates #14 Selling Your Life.
- Leaving Emirates #15 Freight Backwarders
- Leaving Emirates #16 SmashWreckBank
- Leaving Emirates #17 ID90 (not nearly) Freight
- Leaving Emirates #18 Staff Travel Revolutions
- Leaving Emirates #20 Provident Fund
- Leaving Emirates #21 Stuff to Take, Stuff to Sell
- Leaving Emirates #22 Sir Maurice Flanagan
- Leaving Emirates #23 Certificate of Good Conduct
- Leaving Emirates #24 I am now Car-Less
- Leaving Emirates #25 Last Roster
- Leaving Emirates #26 Cars and Visas
- Leaving Emirates #27 The Final Paycheck
- Leaving Emirates #29 Right Back Into It.
- Leaving Emirates #30 A Lost Day
- Leaving Emirates #19 Return of the Mashreqbank
- Leaving Emirates #28 A Busy Day in Melbourne