The Hungarian airline Wizz Air has been forced to reconsider the method of salary calculation during the yearly holiday. The airline was prompted last year by FPU Romania about the inaccurate payment for the annual leave but failed to respond or take action. The ruling of the Romanian Court will now secure the holiday pay for the crew and make up for the incorrect practice of the previous years.
Wizz Air argued that the vacation pay should not be determined by the total salary rights of the pilots and cabin crew, but only by the salary elements of permanent nature, referred to explicitly in the Labour Code. Our members, however, considered that the airline had disregarded both local and European labor laws, therefore they took the matter to the court.
In Bucharest Court’s decision, it is noted that Wizz Air UK, calculates holiday compensation as an average of the employee’s daily earnings and that in Romania the airline “has not paid the crew the holiday leave allowance taking into account all the permanent allowances and benefits,” ordering the airline to pay the differences between the holiday leave allowances that were paid and the ones due from August 2019 onward, acknowledging the basic salary, allowances, and benefits of a permanent nature referred to in their individual contracts and addenda, including night work bonuses, Saturday and Sunday work bonuses, sector allowance (also called flight segment pay), and sales commission (for flight attendants).
“We have requested that Wizz Air stop using double standards and start following the law. The Romanian courts have now ruled that the way of calculating these pay rights in Romania must follow the standards set forth by the Court of Justice of the European Union. This is a major step forward and a really positive decision that settles more than 10 years of injustice for the pilots and cabin crew at Wizz Air,” explains Mircea Constantin, head of representation for the FPU in Romania.
This solution comes after the Supreme Administrative Court of Bulgaria ruled that the Hungarian low-cost airline Wizz Air must provide the crew with increased annual leave pay. The collective court action was fully supported by FPU Denmark and based in accordance with the Romanian Labor Code and the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU), and in particular case number C-155/10, Williams and others v British Airways plc. The court decision could be appealed by Wizz Air.
“Pilots and cabin crew expect airlines to adhere to the law, but we know that is currently not the case when it comes to Wizz Air. We expect that the airline will make the proper adjustments for all crew members in Romania,” says Costel Gîlcă and Bianca Mircea, FPU Romania’s legal team.
For more information, please contact:
Mircea Constantin, Head of Representation for FPU Romania, firstname.lastname@example.org
Note to editors: FPU Romania is the first organization in Romania that aims to bring together pilots and cabin crew and help them organize into associations that promote decent working conditions.