Thread: Virgin Atlantic
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Old 7th May 2020, 15:33
  #417 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: UK
Posts: 42
One of considerations that both BA and Virgin, along with other airlines, must take into account when they make pilots compulsory redundant is to use a procedure that is fair and reasonable under all circumstances. In other words they should identify a fair selection criteria which identifies those pilots they retain and those they make compulsory redundant.

They must not discriminate. There is no doubt that LIFO is a straight forward simple system. However, since the introduction of the equality and anti-discrimination legislation LIFO cannot be used as the only methodology. The reason being that it is probable that the most likely individuals selected for redundancy will be young and this will amount to age discrimination and allow an individual/s to have a pop at a company for indirect age discrimination.

It is important that fair criteria are used to select individuals for redundancy. If LIFO is one of the benchmarks used it should not be weighted more heavily than other criteria such as disciplinary records, attendance records (Absence for pregnancy should be ignored), work performance, qualifications, experience etc.

Companies have the flexibility to choose the most appropriate criteria to reflect the skills they wish to retain. Ideally selection criteria should be entirely objective but if qualitative criteria are also used they must be supported by evidence to avoid complaints of bias and opinion.

As an example, it is probable that if a company wanted to get rid of a whole fleet – B747 – then that would not be seen as being discriminatory because those positions would no longer be available. However, if a company was to make all the most junior captains and first officers on a fleet, (based solely on LIFO), redundant because they were reducing the numbers of aircraft operated, then that would probably be seen by the courts to be discriminatory. It would also allow those pilots the right of appeal against their compulsory redundancy.

Skilful negotiation is going to be required by pilot representatives in both BA and Virgin if they are to get the best deal they can for their pilots.
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