View Full Version : BA absenteeism

26th Mar 2004, 10:09
So just why is British Airways' absenteeism record so dreadful?(Eddington letter in BA News today)

26th Mar 2004, 11:36
Low morale - oh dear! not looking good - so what do BA do incomparison with other airlines?

Is it possible to get an online copy of BA news?

26th Mar 2004, 12:18
Jinkster - I do not think the 'News' is available on-line. It is essentially an 'internal' paper, although it is, I believe, distributed to some corporate clients.

Maybe, if you asked, you could get on the list via the BA web-site (http://www.britishairways.com/press/?source=RHG_press_en) .

Sorry I cannot help more but I'm not at work today :D

26th Mar 2004, 12:30
Here we again - BA bashing!! This sight is getting a little boring!!

26th Mar 2004, 13:51
from BBC


26th Mar 2004, 14:38
Mode 7 - I think go has gone absent!

26th Mar 2004, 14:54
Is skippy talking about absent, as in, not attending work with no explanation or is he talking about a high level of sickness?

The former, I thought was a disciplinary offence and the latter, well, sick!!! :O

26th Mar 2004, 15:26
Not been sick in 5 years........ Most be someone else! :p

Figures for Pool Engineers (not including time off with broken bones) are less than 1 day per person per year.

Still doesn't stop the company from screwing us into the ground though. :{


26th Mar 2004, 15:30
I think it's the fine line between truly sick and just fed up enough not to want to go in so allowing a minor illness to provide excuse - gets back to woptb 's point re morale. It's well illustrated in the correlation between absenteeism figures and major sporting events eg Wimbledon ...

26th Mar 2004, 16:35
I've been doing an in-depth study on employee absenteeism in a manufacturing plant, and it is amazing what you can find. For example, huge variations in likely durations of absence depending on what your first day sick is. We can even use it to predict to a reasonable degree a likely day of return.

A common myth is that the amount of absence increases with age, but we have found no evidence to support this whatsoever.

Jet II
26th Mar 2004, 17:20
We can even use it to predict to a reasonable degree a likely day of return.

Oh thats easy - we can do that at BA as well - the likely day of return is as soon as Wimbledon or Henley etc. ends ;)

26th Mar 2004, 17:56
Well one of the reasons without a doubt is lots of the staff are taking the p***,i know of at least 2 in engineering who are on " long term sick " running their businesses,last year during the summer BA were cancelling flights which we thought odd at the time - turns out 500 cabin crew phoned in sick during ascot.

They seems to be totally inept at addressing out of order sickies - personally a video camera would suffice - what's the problem? - if your sick and caught at say Ascot ( and there must be hordes of BA manager / Director types go there ) its " Gross misconduct " - Surely?

26th Mar 2004, 18:01
in my experience 90% of sickness is b*****t and if they all came in when they should, the working day would be easier and so benifit all the staff short term and long term. but as we know staff can only see as far as their noses. always the way isnt it lets blame the company and not the staff going sick.
rant over.


26th Mar 2004, 18:07
From the cabin crew point of view at SHLGW.

We have had "pattern" sickness looked at and someone was sacked as a result.

This had put the frighteners on the whole community not to go sick on any national holidays, weekends, before or after days off or part time weeks, or if it's a day in the week that ends in Y!!!


Crew flying around with colds, flu, and god knows what else because they are scared of going sick at all giving it to fit crew who then go sick because.....they are!!!

3 or more periods of sickness within 6 months stops you from going for any jobs, promotion, or transfer within the company.

I've flown with so many ill crew over the last 3 months and have been sick twice myself already because of it. I have nearly blown my eardrums once before and was off for 5 days because of bruising. It's not an experiance I wish to have again....so if I'm sick I GO SICK!!!

This ensures I have time to recover fully and do not pass it on to PAX or collegues.

When we are trained we are told that we as crew are expected to have a higher sickness level because we are not supposed to come to work even if we have a cold because of the risks of contamination to others and risks to ourselves.

The culture that our management our touting now is causing exactly what they are trying to prevent, AND IT'S CRAZY!!

This only applies to flying staff though, as for others in the offices and on the ground, I have no idea on what is expected.

26th Mar 2004, 18:39
My father (ex forces) cant believe the stories that come out of BA. Why not get people into the offices when they are sick he says? Get them to sweep the floors, do the photocopying. If only it were so simple.....

26th Mar 2004, 20:33
in my experience 90% of sickness is b*****t and if they all came in when they should, the working day would be easier and so benifit all the staff short term and long term. but as we know staff can only see as far as their noses. always the way isnt it lets blame the company and not the staff going sick.
rant over.

So, Jingo, what is your experience? Its pretty easy to toss in figures like 90% of sickness is b*****t.

Without any figures and just anecdotally I think BAs sickness problem is worse than many places. Partly thats due to the vagaries of the job. Shift work, particularly at night and often having to work outside in all weather can make a difference whether you go in to work when not feeling well. I know Id be happier if I was a passenger knowing an engineer for instance was concentrating on his work rather than his cold/flu/diarrhoea. Who wants flight crew in charge of an aircraft and feeling ill or out of sorts. Shift work has been proved in many studies to have an adverse effect on the bodys rhythm causing tiredness and worse.
Of course there are always those who take advantage too, especially as already mentioned when moral is low. I dont know what the situation is like there now but I seem to remember the staff have to sign in on a computer which was programmed to highlight when you had more than x (no. of sickness occasions) whereupon the manager would question the person.

27th Mar 2004, 11:51
Comparing any airlines sickness levels to other industries national averages seems to be somewhat misleading and inaccurate. As flight crew, with a cold/flu you can't operate in an aircraft (pressurization) but you can fly a desk. Statistically therefore, sickness levels in the airline industry (aircrew) you would then expect to be higher.

Wishing It Were True
27th Mar 2004, 21:28
Actually despite all the circumstances which preclude crew flying when poorly, flight crew sickness is actually only third in the list

27th Mar 2004, 22:46
Always thought we were all covered by that strange thing that we cannot work if we are taking ??????? where ??? is on a major list of prescribed medication, so we may be fit to walk the streets but not fit to fly or otherwise work anywhere near an aircraft


28th Mar 2004, 00:32
I used to work for a new start-up, and 6 months after launch I caught a cold after flyng wth a cold-ridden crew.

I had a home stand-by, I rang in sick (bad cold) only to be told I had a roster change and had to report for an EDI. I queried it but was told I would be keeping 100 people delayed if I didnt go. Not knowing any different, I reported, was in agony on descent, stayed up all night to try and clear my ears (olbas, karvol, you name it, I tried it..). Flew back the next morning in more agony, almost deaf and after pleading with ops, was stood down. I went sick for three weeks. I couldnt stand up at one point, had an upper respiratory tract infection, and my eye went totally red (v.v.attractive!) from burst vessels.

Well I didnt know I could refuse to report!!

The way I see it, at the sign of a cold, take two days off to recover.

If you fly you'll only spread it around, make it worse then take 5 days to recover, along with all your colleagues.

Happy (sniffle-free) flying!


30th Mar 2004, 06:46
At the point of not sounding politically correct could it be that BA employs more women on the ground ?

I have known several ground staff 'mothers' who call in sick on a whim ! women generally have more days off sick than men and as far as I know many airlines use say servisair etc on the ground who's sickness figures are their own problem.

30th Mar 2004, 10:09
Also, I have to point out that BA have been very good in the past at looking after people with genuine long term sickness, to the point of keeping jobs open if it looks like the employee will be able to return in the future. They also have been known to continue to pay full salries after the 6 month cutoff if the employee can sit in an office and do some photocopying or whatever.
There arent many companies that would bother nowadays.

30th Mar 2004, 10:27
The problem would appear to lie perhaps with Rod having no understanding that crew should not fly with colds, or lack of a detailed and meaningful analysis of sick days among employee groups.

The comparison means nothing and should be treated as such, unless benchmarked against a comparable company such as bmi or Virgin. Without a more detailed breakdown we are all wasting our breath trying to blame slackers at Ascot (from a mere rumour) or female ground staff (as one poster mentioned above), since the figures are otherwise meaningless.

I would be more worried about Rod's apparant lack of understanding of the business which he heads, which could lead to the poor treatment of the real long-term sick, where BA have traditionally been good. I for one would not want to be in a position where I felt pressurised to operate, while suffering a cold, as mentioned above in the example.

Well thats Me
30th Mar 2004, 11:27
I think everyone here seems to have entirely missed the point,the 16.9 days average is exactly that,i and 90% of the staff take 2,3 or 4 days sick a year with honest problems.

Its the 10% that are taking 30,40,50 days sick >>> Theres a guy on my section with Depression did 17 days work all last year ( to April 04 )