Two separate parliamentary committees have referred Ryanair to the employment and tax authorities after the low-cost carrier's "refusal to cooperate" with inquiries into staff pay and working conditions.
Frank Field of the work and pensions committee and Rachel Reeves of the business select committee both wrote to HMRC and the director of labour market enforcement to ask them to look into Ryanair and the recruitment agencies that provide the airline's cabin crew.
Both committees were appealing for more information on reports that cabin crew had been forced to work for the Irish carrier free of charge for some hours, pay for their training and uniforms and take extended periods of unpaid leave, suggesting that agency workers had received less than the UK's national living wage.
Ryanair's HR director penned a letter to the committees in December in which they claimed crew earned between 24,000 and 40,000 per annum, double the legal minimum for the work carried out, but MPs said the letter still ignored many of their questions, adding that the pay figures did not seem to add up with those listed in a contract they had been supplied.
Field said, "We and the public can draw our own conclusions about Ryanair's comprehensive failure to answer allegations on its pay and employment practices."
Reeves added that she hoped the HMRC would investigate Ryanair's practices as soon as possible.
"Ryanair might want to dodge our committees' questions and hide behind excuses, but the UK is the largest provider of workers to the company and we must be sure that everyone working for Ryanair is receiving fair pay and reasonable working conditions," she said.
A Ryanair spokeswomen said, "Ryanair has already confirmed to this committee that its pilots earn between 130,000 and 180,000 per annum and our cabin crew between 24,000 and 40,000, which is more than double UK national minimum wage, and since we also comply fully with UK employment law, we have no further comment in response to this committee's inaccurate press releases."
The news comes a day after Ryanair trumpeted the news that its pilots had mostly agreed to accept pay increases of up to 20%, having in December agreed to recognise pilot unions for the first time in its history.
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