Ryanair has been referred to employment and tax authorities for investigation by two parliamentary committees, citing the airline’s “refusal to cooperate” with inquiries over crew pay and conditions.
Frank Field, chair of the work and pensions committee, and Rachel Reeves, chair of the business select committee, have written to HMRC and the director of labour market enforcement asking them to investigate Ryanair and the agencies that supply its cabin crew.
Late last year, Ryanair declined to answer further questions about pay and employment practices, after an initial response failed to satisfy MPs.
The committees sought more information after reports that cabin crew were required to work for free, pay for training and uniforms and take significant periods of unpaid leave, which suggested that agency workers were receiving less than the living wage.
A letter from Ryanair’s HR director, sent on 21 December, said crew earned between €24,000 [£21,150] and €40,000 [£35,250] a year, double the legal minimum for the work carried out.
However, MPs said that the letter ignored many of their questions while the pay figures did not tally with a contract they had seen.
Field and Reeves have told HMRC and Sir David Metcalf, the government’s director of labour market enforcement, that despite Ryanair’s assurances, it appeared that cabin crew were being paid in a confusing and opaque way, that could mask low pay and poor conditions.