View Full Version : BA Pilot's sex discrimination case. (Update: Now includes Tribunal's judgement)

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Big Hilly
10th Jan 2005, 12:26
I’m not a great fan of the relentless links to vaguely-aviation related articles that we sometimes have on here but I do think that THIS (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/dorset/4159749.stm) is a cause worth highlighting.

We all know that flying professionally can put a difficult enough strain on family life and so one can only begin to imagine the difficulties that being a professional pilot and a working mother must cause.

I, for one, feel that as an industry we should be doing more to accommodate the needs of our colleagues who for reasons such as being a working parent or say, looking after a sick relative, wish to go part time for a while; and to that end, I wish this young lady all of the very best with her appeal.


10th Jan 2005, 13:12
At the risk of being a little controversial, I'll be the first to reply and wait for incoming fire. I'm not a pilot but can add my two penneth from an employer’s perspective. Isn’t this all getting a little silly? Yes of course the lady is entitled to spend time with her child, but presumably she has already been on the receiving end of maternity leave. I'm afraid in todays PC & equal opportunities world things are going a little too FAR.

Put simply you can't have your cake and eat it, it's unreasonable to expect any employer to make 'blanket' concessions to all employees with young Kids or sick relatives (I have both myself), each case must be reviewed - within a framework - on an individual basis. Reading between the lines BA seem to be saying that not only has she only been around for 4 years (I'm guessing a chunk of which has already been whilst on maternity leave) but she has below the expected level of flight experience - probably due to the afore mentioned leave to qualify for rostered time of less than 75% f/t hours, so what’s wrong with that?

Presumably pilots will have a different view - as if the lady concerned is flying part time, by definition there will be greater hours available to others on the roster. It’s really about time people started to wise up a bit and stop expecting Companies and their shareholders to fund their ‘life’ choices regardless of what they may be!

10th Jan 2005, 13:15
To be fair...BA do offer 75% working opportunities. Is her BA pilot hubbie also taking part time working opportunities? Or does she want a decent salary for working 7 days a month on a 50 % roster? I can see why BA would baulk at offering this to a pilot that would appear to have very little experience to fall back on to compensate for lack of handling. However, common sense doesn't always win out so I wouldn't be surprised, (or disappointed) if she won this case. Just feel sorry for the other pilots on the fleet that have to pick up the slack.

10th Jan 2005, 13:42
Pilot reduces working to 50%

Cost of employing Pilot reduces to 50%....


He/She still has the same days "off roster but paid" in simulator/sep/medical/route check as pilot on 100% working. Does BA have to pay a reduced Loss of Licence premium? What about the uniform BA provides, is the replacement period doubled?

Perhaps the REAL cost of 50% working would be a salary of 40%.

With regard to experience levels, would the 50% worker accept that they would be no where as experienced over the years as the fellow pilot on a 100% roster? Would they accept twice the time to command to compensate?

Why not 25% working?

Where will it all end?

Kilo-club SNA
10th Jan 2005, 15:00
Being a mum and working as an airlines pilot seems pretty tough to me, hard enough to have a social life with no kid.
If her husband flies to....not much chance to take care of a kid. It's simply prettyy rough when both partens are working such demanding jobs

So the way I look at it the company should make an effort to facilitat a kid in that family (after all we do need kids).

Now, she wanted to work 50%? But BA only accepted 75% ? (if I understood it right) Here's a tought...make both parents work 75%. that leaves equally amount of time for the kid and that was the reason for her to work 50%....wasn't it?
If they don't like it then they aren't doing it for the kid, she simply wants more spare time...

10th Jan 2005, 15:14
Interesting to see a different attitude from Sweden where they have a very different outlook on these issues.
All comes down to what you believe in. I have sympathy for both views. In "real life" I err on the side of thinking she is taking the michael somewhat. But like the man says, what's more important ? The Q1 financial results of Moneymaker Airlines, or bringing kids into the world ?
Or rather what SHOULD BE more important ? I know what I think

By the way I also favour a 4 day working week

10th Jan 2005, 15:18
It is impossibly unfair on employers and fellow employees to demand a 50% roster schedule-quite a nightmare for that department as well.
The game rules are well known and, as in many other professions, baby time should be factored into pre flight planning.
Such fulminations as we see displayed here in the guise of fair opportunity are nothing more than a delicious justification to restrict female pilot entry and are a joy to the heart of a good old Chauvanist such as me:p Pity Chauvin, he was only a patriot.:{

10th Jan 2005, 15:20
Agreed as it stands cheetah

I think there should be a level playing field. We should all work less.

10th Jan 2005, 15:24
Being a mum and working as an airlines pilot seems pretty tough to me,

So perhaps there is a choice to be made here. Airline pliot or mum or mum with less demanding job. She cannot have her cake and eat it.

Where I work, there are a couple of guys with young kids. I have no malice towards these kids, but the rest of us are getting a little p*ssed off with continually having to take up the slack as one or other of these guys has a day off for doctor/dentist/little johnny's ill.

Now, she wanted to work 50%? But BA only accepted 75% ? (if I understood it right) Here's a tought...make both parents work 75%. that leaves equally amount of time for the kid and that was the reason for her to work 50%....wasn't it?

Spot on:)

10th Jan 2005, 15:39
patdavies, I agree with you entirely - she can't have her cake and eat it. She should perhaps look towards getting a less demanding job.

If she does only work 75% at the moment, then that seems pretty fair IMO. Suppose you owned an airline, which by chance, employed all female pilots. What if you had to then give them all 50% time off for the same reason. You'd end up having to employ twice as many pilots with twice the admin costs, effort, etc. Where does it all end?

She'll probably win her case though.

Big Hilly
10th Jan 2005, 15:40
Some interesting points. But, let’s face it, isn’t this an exact case in point with what’s wrong with our industry? i.e. The idea that pilots are entirely disposable commodities to get rid of as and when it doesn’t suit?

Instead of looking after her and thinking “well, she’s 26, so, in theory she could be a loyal staff-member for the next 29 years” the general consensus is to “bin her” to solve the problem. OK in the short term, but in a few years when and if the predicted ‘pilot shortage’ happens or even when there is a shortage of experienced staff because of the current recruitment squeeze, she’ll probably be flying for someone else, who gave her a break after she’s finished looking after the kids. . . .

I just find it really, really sad.

Just my 2p. . .


10th Jan 2005, 15:42
I fail to see how this is in any way sex discrimination.

If a man under the same circumstances said he wanted to fly 50% to spend more time with his family then I presume the airline would also have said no.

I believe that 50% is available, but to pilots with sufficient experience to maintain a safe and efficient operation, and that has to be the airlines first priority.

The other crew members and passengers have a right to expect a certain standard of recency and experience, and whilst managers and others do fly fewer hours than line pilots they are usually well etablished in their careers first.

Having only obtained just over a years worth of flying in the last five years (according to some of the press reports) I think it is not unreasonable fro BA to act in the way that it has.

If it DID give special permission because she was a mum, yet rejected similar requests from dads then that WOULD be sex discrimination.

10th Jan 2005, 15:44
One wonders how she would be fixed at a low cost airline...

Its not a particularly friendly occupation for those with young children is it ? Arent only 2 % of UK ATPLs Female ? Probably explains why - voted with their feet?

10th Jan 2005, 15:46
I understood the rules allowed for part time work on the basis of job sharing for parents with young children.
I also understand the company can refuse to give part time working only if they are able to justify it. In a company as large as BA I would have thought that was unlikely.

She is damned if she does damned if she doesn't.

The chauvinists will always bring up the argument that she should stay at home, however she is also trying to do the best fro her child by trying to be at home whilst the youngster is young but also giving it an excellent role model in having parents who work hard for a living.

With a small company I understand the difficulties of job share working but surely in a large company such as BA they can find another parent or someone else looking to reduce their hours to accommodate this.
And no I don't think this opens up a floodgate of claims.

10th Jan 2005, 15:49
Yes indeedy PD. Make him a Training Captain, make her a Line Captain. Then at 50% each all is happy. Crewing only needs one standby Captain as hubby can fly either seat. All is sweetness and harmony. Alternative plan: put baby up for adoption to well known parliamentary family, thus presenting sprog with benefit of US passport.. Ensure male rights upheld by making all women pilots work harder than us because they started the problem in the first instance and in any event, if they are to be believed, have to work harder than Captains Courageous in the first place.:E

10th Jan 2005, 16:14
I made a comment recently on another thread where I pointed out that employers like M.O'Leary were shy of employing female pilots for exactly this kind of reason...and I got my face eaten off for having the nerve to even suggest it might be a consideration.

So much for the PC brigade then.

10th Jan 2005, 16:15
easyjet offer 50% contracts and 75%. There are a few Mothers as Captains working 50%.

I dont see why she shouldnt have it, if after all BA have chosen to employ a large proportion of the female pilot community they should take into account that they will be mothers at some point. It all looks very PC to have lots of women pilots- but nature calls!

10th Jan 2005, 16:24
The Daily Telegraph also had an article about this case.

Apparently BA will only grant Ms Starmer 75% because they deem it inappropriate for pilots with less that 2,000hr to be given 50% contracts. The article went on to indicate that BA has many flying mums who work a 50% contract because they have the required number of hours. That seems fair to me & I can't see that BA is being sexually discriminatory.

Presumably, BA pilots' part-time working deal was negotiated with BALPA and the experience requirements became part of the Ts & Cs.

Anyway, how long has she got to wait until she gets 2,000hr so that this is no longer an issue?

Cruise Alt
10th Jan 2005, 16:38
Started flying in 2001 and has less than 2000 hours. Seems like she has been part time up till now anyway!

Typical BA attitude. The company exists only to provide it's super-race employees with a healthy income without impinging on the social life.


Jordan D
10th Jan 2005, 16:42
I saw the article in question on BBC Online and felt the need to come across here straight away. I'm not a pilot (a student actually), but I'm shocked and appalled by this lady's behaviour. She obvious should know the rules that BA set, which I'm guessing haven't changed before or after the birth of her daughter. Why does she think it is right for them to discriminate in her favour by allowing what she wants over all the other people who've asked for the same?

I think it will be a great shame if she wins her case.


10th Jan 2005, 16:51
This boils my blood, I cant imagine how this will do anything for the employment of females in the aviation indutry. Furthermore to claim its sexual discrimination is a joke, why shouldnt fathers be allowed the same, this is a big can of worms and I think it will be squashed.

If she wins then all the fathers whould be entitled to the same and if they dont get it , then it is a sexual discrimination case. Infact heck why not lets try and increase the debt BA are trying to get down !!

Does it not all come down to planning like everything in life ? I guess the couple knew what the terms were before they had the baby and to try and re-write the rules after the event .

Ms Starmer added that such practices seek "to reinforce, rather than reform, the traditional male dominance in its workforce". I do not want to have to give up the job I have always wanted to do and worked so hard for

thoughts - don't get pregnant then. This reminds me of the female pilots thread on the site, someone was talking about similar a few weeks back.


10th Jan 2005, 16:54
I just heard her interviewed on the radio and she said that she thought that she would be eligible for 50% duty and that this influenced her decision to start a family. In other words if she'd read her Ts & Cs more rigorously she wouldn't be in this situation.

How many hours has the other parent got? Is he eligible for 50% duty?

10th Jan 2005, 17:44
The report I read was that BA changed the rules 5 months after she requested to work half time, on that basis alone she should get the half time she has requested.

If the rules allowed her to do it when she applied then they shouldn't have denied her request if they already do it for other members of staff.

Mr Angry from Purley
10th Jan 2005, 17:52
Any bets on the said lady pronouncing she is pregnant again when this gets sorted....Dont suppose either that a Dorset address helps the situation at home?. Would a period of unpaid leave be a suitable suggestion rather than a court case.
Problem is BA mainline is too nice to its crews sometimes, i have experienced many a case of compassion from BA which would never be seen at other airlines and my view is that they are perhaps trying to get their monies worth first.

10th Jan 2005, 17:55
Unfortunately this kind of case only shows employers what potential 'problems' employing female pilots can pose. As far as I can see it, in her contract that she signed 4years ago, it would have been written down about how many hrs you need to go whatever% part-time. If she now wants to change that because she's had a sprog, well tough!
The standards should be the same for everyone. If some bloke had joined the company at the same time, had the same hours as her, and fancied going 50% to work as some volunteer helping sick people, it's pretty obvious he'd be shot down by the company as well. And in my opinion, that would be of same value to this world as bringing another child into it.
Rules are rules. If she doesn't like the fact that she can't go 50% at this moment in time, she should have either delayed her family-making or accepted it and taken a total career-break.

Oh, and I'm female!

keel beam
10th Jan 2005, 18:01
2 thoughts here.
1 - After 3 or 4 years one should have a fair idea of the lie of the land when doing ones' job.
2 - If BA are discriminating against female pilots as alleged then all power to her.
OK 3 thoughts.....
3 - If she wins, BA management will make her life hell if she should wish to continue to work with BA and probably untenable. (Another tribunal for constructive dismissal)

Lou Scannon
10th Jan 2005, 18:31
Would any other profession agree to half -time work during apprenticeship/pupilage/house officer/second officer or whatever?

If successful, will she be happy to see her full-time contemporaries gain command years before she does, or will this be another sexual discrimination claim?

The ideal solution for the child, as someone stated, would be for both her and her husband to reduce to 75%. But that would be equal treatment.

10th Jan 2005, 18:39
BA are actually not adverse to this action taking place. They hope the ruling (whichever way) will clear up a grey area in this arena and give them a policy direction.

This is not my feelings but fact as I had an insight into this case about 6 months ago.

However it is rather sad that BA need a tribunal to clarify their own policies.


View From The Ground
10th Jan 2005, 19:08
They key fact of this matter is whether the rule was changed mid-contract. Leaving aside all the other rights and wrongs. If when she decided to conceive the baby there was an agreement, in writing, between pilots and the Company, that pilots of either sex with families could opt to work part time 50% regardless of the number of hours she has flown, then she has a case, although NOT for sexual descrimination. Sex descrimination laws would surely apply only if males and females were not entitled to the same concession.
In general if an Employer wants to alter a contractual term, or even just a work pratice. There must be at minimum consultation, and indeed a contractual term should only be changed with the employees agreement. Did the Union agree this change with BA and when?
My 2p worth is that if they had the 2000 hour rule before she conceived then she should abide by her terms and conditions and has no case, if they changed after she had conceived surely most people would believe that it is fair enough for her to ask for 50% working, since this is what she based her decision on.
Can anyone at BA answer definitively when this rule was implemented, and if possible its timeline in relation to the pregnancy concerned

Hot Wings
10th Jan 2005, 19:11
It is a case of biting the hand that feeds. BA has previously gone out of its way to recruit minority pilots. For what its worth, loads of people in BA can get part time - apart from pilots!!!!

Big Hilly
10th Jan 2005, 19:19
Would any other profession agree to half -time work during apprenticeship/pupilage/house officer/second officer or whatever? With respect, I think that you are missing the point here Lou.

From what I can gather, the Lady in question is not an 'apprentice' in any shape or form but someone who like us all, has studied long and hard (probably at great personal expense) for a career in a environment where jobs are scarce and the pressures of work from employers are ever increasing. Let us not forget that she is a QUALIFIED, professional pilot, not an apprentice. As someone stated above, Easyjet offer the facility to work a 50% part-time role, one would, therefore, expect a Major Carrier such as BA to follow suit?

Oh, and for the record, I think that you’ll find that the NHS (as you mentioned trainee doctors) do, actually, bend over backwards to accommodate health-professionals who wish to work part time.


10th Jan 2005, 19:38
She might well have studied 'long and hard' for her career in aviation, but she knew the score when she made a conscious decision to have children.
There is no such thing as 'having it all' - no-one ever has, and no-one ever will.
This attitude of 'superwoman' doing everything has made a whole generation of women feel incredibly miserable and dissatisfied with their lives.

Mr Angry from Purley
10th Jan 2005, 19:41
According to HR at the airline i work for anyone can apply to go part time 50%, 75% etc but the airline decides when it starts

10th Jan 2005, 20:02
Having worked with many ladies, both on the flight deck and also in the armed forces,I can assure you all that they are extremely good operators. I cannot remember ever flying a hot and high approach with a lady pilot, in marked contrast to the lads brigade who can normally be relied upon to cock it up!!...especially when on a Cat111 or on company minimum fuel!

In addition, the hardest thing I have ever done is a week of 4 sector days comprising earlies then lates, while doing the school run, music lessons, swimming lessons, feeding and entertaining the kids...harder by far than a tour with the rock apes!

Why should anyone have to put their full potential on the back burner by taking a lower paid job just in case evolution kicks in? That is a losers attitude and these girls are not losers, they are making the most of their hard earned opportunities.

Who foots the bill? They do, by having to sacrifice half of their salary in order to introduce the next generation into this miserable misogynistic occupation.

10th Jan 2005, 20:14
Good Luck, BA!!!

10th Jan 2005, 20:21
No ,Gingercat! I never said they should leave the top jobs to the blokes! All i am saying is that having children is a massive committment - you can't just bring another human being into the world then skip back to work within a matter of weeks.
Babies need their mothers. If you choose to have children, then you have to make sacrifices.
Just because someone chooses to stay at home for their kids does not make them 'chained to the kitchen sink', nor does it set women back to the 1950's.
Please grow up.

10th Jan 2005, 20:31
View from the Ground, a sound rational post.

I echo your thoughts. There is a case to be answered based on the rules which were in place at the time of conception. However like you I fail to see what this has to do about direct or indirect sexual discrimination. If this is the basis of her claim then I feel it would fail without a quasi cliam (I think that's the term, I'm no legal buff).

If the rules did change re 50% and the 2000 hours then surely this is something the unions would have ok'd at the time and asked their members to okay ?? (I see from the Balpa website they are supporting her) but their angle seems to be more on the flexible reitrement side of things.

If she wins the case based on sexual discrimination then I feel very strongly that it would lead to all sorts coming out the woodwork, people looking for 50% part time becasue of various reasons.

In a non aviation job if someone comes back to work then the law says (I believe) they are to be offered their old job back. I did hear recently of a mum coming back to work and demanding part time, the job invlolved just could not be done as a job share and it was the office managers job to demonstrate this.

As for the airline looking to this for guidance, thats shocking if true. The next thing I can picture is that they will have changed the 50% rule very close to the date she conceived the baby. So they will have to discuss in court which 'instance' it was that actually lead to the baby being conceived...

<Againts Ms S> I put it to you that the night Ms Stamer is said to have conceived the baby, she was infact on an overnight stay in another country, <GASP from the crowd>. It was the very next day that the rules were changed.

<For MS. S> Ms S returned back to the UK in the early hours of the day, this can ben seen from Exhibit A, she then drove home, filling her car on the way, cctv footage exhibit B, to arrive home at xx:yy, exhibit C text message "honey I'm home" I put it to m'lerned friend that Ms S infact conceived the baby that morning after she came home, 2 hours before the rules changed....

10th Jan 2005, 21:53
I am sorry to say that this case shows us what happens when we have a nanny state. When Pontius started into flying you had to decide what priorities you had and live accordingly. Now, in the days of 'instant gratification' you can have you bread buttered and jammed on both sides and sue someone if you get sticky fingers. When will people start living in the real world.

10th Jan 2005, 22:07
Anyone read about the bank exec recently? She lost her case; this lady had been employed and dismissed by the same person ( a woman) and she took umbrage to having to serve the drinks on the private jet! (did she expect the pilot to do this?!)

This topic amuses me on the one hand whilst making me pretty angry on the other. I believe in "equality" ( or rather fairness) in the work place but the result that the law gives rise to is often laughable in the cases some women bring. As most sensible people (male and female) know biting the hand that feeds one is not to be recommended. All this will do is result in fewer companies risking taking women on in the first place.

As for the case in hand I do not know the facts (can any direct me to a reasobaly accurate version?) and this girl may be completely in the right if BA have reneged on their contract with her in which case shame on them. However, it seems like a risky strategy and the stress of bringing such a case is not be underestimated.

[Edited - to change emphasis, I sympathise with the lady pilot and the exec case is not meant to be a comparison, simply to state that the economic realities of life mean for most that a perfect work / life balance is impossible to achieve]

10th Jan 2005, 22:17
If BA did move the goal posts mid gestation, then why hasn't more be made of this by the plaintiff/BALPA? No report I've seen alludes to this.

10th Jan 2005, 22:40
The challenge of child care in the aviation profession does not only apply to female pilots.

When my wife died suddenly in 1994 I was flying for ExCalibur Airways and I had two sons aged 8 and 15 years. I attempted to negotiate a flexible working arrangement with the company which would last about 2 or 3 years. I was told this was not possible because it would set a president for others wanting to do the same!!

Whilst single male parents tend to be a minority group (don't I know it), most employers just do not seem to understand that aircrew face specific challenges in this area. It just is not like a 9 to 5 job - try and get childcare arrangements for a standby etc!!

Also it's not the sort of job where you can be sitting at 35,000 ft worried about whether the children are being looked after ok. In short, a pilot worried about the kids is not a safe pilot.

I decided to leave the airline business to look after the kids - I now know it was the right decision although getting back into it after a few years out is proving challenging.

All you (male) pilots out there with kids - just ask yourself what YOU would do if your partner was no longer there?

10th Jan 2005, 22:56
I despair at some of the dinosaur like attitudes expressed in this thread, typical of that which us women pilots must endure almost daily, despite the so called "equality" of the 3rd millenium. Oh but surely they say, doesn't the case of Jessica Starmer just prove that we should know our place and not stray further than the kitchen or bedroom?

Well hello, the world's gender stereotypes are changing rapidly, not just in terms of liberating the afgans who have been wearing the burka for centuries, but also in our "free" western societies. Who would have imagined only 50 years ago, the huge number of all female cockpits now flying around europe? What hasn't changed in all this time and won't ever change? We make babies - you don't.

The workplace is constantly evolving and changing - or should the world go into reverse? Do you want shops to close at 5pm weekdays and never open on Sundays? So deal with it. We will continue to advance into traditional male-dominated roles and yet fulfil without compromise our natural ability (not role) as mothers - employment law will adapt as necessary.

I expect to hear this sort of rubbish from the members of ones local aero club or flying school, but not from so called professionals. Just reread some of your posts "gentlemen" and decide if you would be happy for someone (or an employer) to express these thoughts about YOUR daughter, sister or mother. Give us a break!

11th Jan 2005, 00:40
Some folk can't do some jobs because of their other commitments or because of the lifestyle they want. Working shifts, flying longhaul and other jobs that mean spending periods away from home are often out. Bad luck. You make your choice and find a job that suits.

In the BA case, both parents are pilots and they have a child and expect BA to allow her to work 50% AND adjust their rosters so one of them can be at home at a time.
She says they ain't got room for a nanny. So move house to somewhere with an extra bedroom.

If they can't or won't do that, then they should decide between them which one of them is gonna move to a different airline where they can work 50% or give up flying for the sake of their child.

Oh no, let's not put ourselves out for the sake of the child. Let's take BA to court for for sex discrimination and hope some crackpot will tell the airline they have to change their rostering for the sake of the child.

Having a child isn't an illness or a disability, it's a lifestyle choice and it means you have to make some sacrifices.

I hope the airline wins but I wouldn't bet on it these days. :rolleyes:

11th Jan 2005, 05:53

Unfortunately in Blair's Politically correct Britain of today she will probably win her case.

AS you say having a baby is a choice.

I notice she is only 26, yet has a year old daughter,only 1100 hours flying. We are told she is on short haul A320 at Heathrow yet lives in Dorset.

If an Airline has to employ 2 people at 50% then the extra costs of 4 sim checks ,two sets of Uniforms and all the other things add considerably to costs. She should have thought a little more before coming into this business. The next thing she will be asking for late morning starts and no night flying. Where and when will this madness end??

fire wall
11th Jan 2005, 06:41
you guys are being a wee bit harsh.
There is always a place on the flight deck for lady pilots......it makes the overnights much more interesting and besides, there is now someone to do the RT.

TAKE COVER !!!!!!!

11th Jan 2005, 06:53
I am with Bronx on this.

They should have figured out how they were going to work the family thing before she got pregnant.


11th Jan 2005, 06:59
Talking of the changes BA made, prior to the new rules was it "No part time working with less than 2000hours" and was it then changed to " 75% working only with less than 2000hours". Over 2000hours all entitled to 50% part time contracts.

Seems a pretty sensible rule to me and has nothing to do with discrimination. Don't tell me that some of our lady friends think they should maybe have part time working through training with possibly a creche as well.

The flight deck is no place for inexperienced part timers. Their age, race, sex or religion is irrelevent.


Kaptin M
11th Jan 2005, 08:46
This problem only arose because BA employed female pilots.

A statement of fact - nothing else!

Women claim they want "equal" rights, then having achieved that, want EXTRA rights.

Sorry to state the truth, ladies, but you ARE built differently to men - your hormones are different, your muscles are different, your needs are different.

Where I work, it is not unusual for one of the female staff to have to step down from work, simply because she is UNABLE to perform due to her monthly menstrual cycle.
Later in life menopause will come into play.
Let's stop pretending, shall we.

11th Jan 2005, 08:59
what kaptin says made me think....

WARNING - this is not my view
chatting to a very senior figure in a well known UK (non-aviation) plc a while back who told me he would never employ anyone from a non white ethnic background or a female in his management team. ever.

reason he gave was that he dismissed a black lady some time ago for what he says were totally justifiable reasons. the employment tribunal that followed was lengthy, expensive and extremely damaging to his and the company's reputation. She argued sex and racial discrimination. She lost eventually. He pointed out that a white male would not have the ability to resort to spurious claims such as this. Since then he has implemented what he calls a "minimal risk" employment policy - white males only.

sad but true

11th Jan 2005, 09:13
Just reread some of your posts "gentlemen" and decide if you would be happy for someone (or an employer) to express these thoughts about YOUR daughter, sister or mother. Give us a break!
So whose responsibility is it to decide to have a child and understand the potential impact on career, social life etc?

Last time I checked, it's the potential parents.

11th Jan 2005, 09:15
Without pretending for a moment that I know anything about the facts of this case (a pity others here wouldn't admit the same!!), the aviation profession (and specifically pilots) makes a different case from many other jobs. Two of the more obvious reasons are 1) the huge cost of training and, to a lesser extent, jobsharing, and 2) the potential consequences if the person doing a complicated and highly responsible job screws up through fatigue or distraction. While it may be desirable and humane to have jobsharing, etc, the costs to companies in different industries vary hugely - therefore, as long as it is voluntary rather than statutory, any company is entitled to set its own rules. If you take an extreme example, US lady fighter pilots take the job on strict Terms and Conditions that would have other women up in arms, given the Air Force spends a huge amount of money training them and demands its pound of flesh in terms of commitment as a result.

Pilots are highly educated, intelligent people, and they can read a contract better than most. What applied at the time the deed was done (as long as it was legal) is what counts, and no amount of comments re; kitchens or cockpits will change that.

11th Jan 2005, 10:09
Let’s make this right, when she decided to be a pilot and applied to BA she new what kind of life she can expect. She new that her husband is doing the same kind of job and that there is no room for a kid. She got pregnant anyway and now expect the company to adapt to her new life with the kid. Well that is little unrealistic, don’t you think so. If companies like BA should adapt to all life changes of their employees then they wouldn’t last for long. She should let her husband fly and she should change her job so they can all be happy, not expecting some extra rules to be applied to her.

11th Jan 2005, 10:11
Just thought I'd visit PPRuNe to see what the opinions were on this case. The low level of debate in this thread and the uninformed and bigoted opinions displayed here remind me of the reasons why I hardly visit here any more.

This is a test case to clarify an area of BA pilots contracts and BA chose to let it run to the stage where Jessica took it to tribunal.

Unless you are familiar with BA's t's & c's and UK employment law with regards to part-time, it is very easy to make yourselves look stupid when you commit your posting to the forum.

Some people should get hold of some facts before they shoot their mouths off. Jessica deserves credit for having the courage to take this public, I'll bet she doesn't bother to read the drivel on here.

11th Jan 2005, 10:13
Either way BA loose. If she wins her case it opens the floodgates and all sorts of problems arise for BA which lead to an increase in costs.

If BA win then its a PR disaster as many in the public will see BA being just what she says it is.

Its a real hot potato.

Kaptin M
11th Jan 2005, 10:33
The opinions posted here are representative of a cross section of the thoughts of individuals who peruse PPRuNe, overstress

That they are "uninformed and bigoted opinions" is YOUR opinion only, and a matter of conjecture.
IMO, your last post reeks of an inability to accept that perhaps YOUR opinion is a minority one that doesn't fit in with the majority consensus, and hence your attempt to belittle.

Quite frankly, some people are sick and tired of some minorities trying to convice the world that left is right, right is wrong, and unnatural is normal.it is very easy to make yourself look stupid when you commit your posting to the forum. Heed your own words.

11th Jan 2005, 10:39

I have looked for facts on this case e.g. balpa site. news sites, BA site etc and have found limited resources. If you're in a position to direct me to more information it would be most useful. Short of that all others such as myself can do is speculate amongst ourselves and offer thoughts based on what one knows and/or thinks (like a rumour - ;-) )

As for the couple having courage to take this to public yes it is brave, very - indeed. I imagine a lot of people will have told her so, as happens in life people support a just cause, however ask them to get involved and very often they will fade into the shadows, "erm, well really I dont want to get involved" as someone said above biting the hand that feeds.
e.g. no disrespect but I havent seen a photo yet of the happy couple taking BA to a tribunal, I can't see the partner in any photos.

Anyway, as I said if you could point us to more facts that'd be great.

as a side issue I personally can't imagine it will do wonders for either partners advancement prospects in the airline or with another airline, sad but true.


11th Jan 2005, 10:40
Fascinating thread. I work for BA but was a DEP having had a previous career and also worked for other airlines.

Having followed the thread on the same subject on the BA section of the BALPA forum striking differences are apparent.

90% of the contributors on the BALPA forum think she is wholly deserving in her case.

However here, where it could be argued people live in the real world, the more rational posters are saying that it is a choice and that commercial organisations should not have to continually adapt beyond what is reasonable, with the inherent costs, to the whims and wishes of the workforce.

Strikes me that after all the investment in her training (flying college, sim conversion, line training) to have flown 1200 hours in 4 years and now want to work 50% is an abysmal return on investment. Or isn't that important?

11th Jan 2005, 10:46
AndyPany returns on investment very important.
Employed 5/01 & people fly into towers 9/01 could that have a lot to do with the hours ?

Curious Pax
11th Jan 2005, 11:00
I have no inside knowledge of this case, but 2 thoughts for the anti mothers on the flightdeck brigade:

You complain about parents needing extra time to deal with their kids, whilst the heroic non-parents hold the fort. Have you ever thought who keeps the country going financially with their taxes after you retire - that's right, younger taxpayers. And where do they come from? So to complain that it is all pain and no gain for non-parents is not quite right.

Secondly, I know from personal experience that although planning how it is going to be after a child comes along is all very nice, the reality that bites can often be much different. You don't know in advance whether your child will sleep all night from a couple of months old, or wake up several times a night until they are 5 years old. Will they be good at amusing themselves so that you can get household stuff done as well as care for them at the times you are home? There are many other issues, but those 2 alone can make a huge difference.

Even parents whose partner isn't working can underestimate the impact of a kid, and how much time they soak up, so couples new to the game should get some slack if they didn't get the advance plan quite right.

11th Jan 2005, 11:01
I feel very sorry for these three people (Him, Her and the Baby) who are so alone in the world.

They have no extended family, no friends and no access to child minding facilities.

Some people can work full time and still find time to hang out with the Granchildren!

If they are that alone, perhaps a career break for a few years would be a good idea.



11th Jan 2005, 11:03
Some interesting replies, I'm surprised by the number of poster's who appear to broadly share the opinion expressed in my earlier post. Perhaps the world isn't going bonkers after all.

As an aside, I'm currently recruiting for a senior admin role in my business, I had a candidate contact me via phone yesterday who sounded suitable for interview but would not commit (even to an interview let alone the job) until she had been sent - in writing - our maternity pay policy. A rather odd priority I thought! Certainly not a common occurance in my experience, but perhaps a sign of the way peoples mind sets are changing regarding employment.

My wife would love to be working, we could do with the money, have a mortgage etc and she could certainly do with the stimulation and reward of returning to her career, but we chose to have children and she decided they were more important than anything else, others have a different view, but we all make our own 'choices', why inflict the implications of those 'choices' on an employer?

11th Jan 2005, 11:44
What bugs me is those who rant on about bringing children into the world being the most importat thing, and then hand the kid straight over to a nanny the moment it's born. Bringing a child into this world should be because you want to spend your time bringing the child up, helping it to develop and grow into the fine young person you hope it will be.
I get that some parents have to return to work - but shouldn't financial consideration have been thought of before getting pregnant? It's pretty obvious that having a child is no cheap option. If you're that keen to have a child, make sure you have money in the bank to help you out for the first few years before you can return to work when the child starts school.

11th Jan 2005, 11:55
This really is opening a can of worms but I was wondering what t&c the cabin crew at BA get with regard to maternity leave and working part time. As most cabin crew are women and therefore have the possibility to have children how does the airline treat them? I realise training costs etc. for cabin crew are less than pilots but they employ more of them so it must affect their bottom line. Do they have the option to work 50% of their roster and of so is there a time in service/hours requirement before they can take it? Just wondering....

11th Jan 2005, 12:03
I'd be interested to know if she has the option to take unpaid leave for a year?

Non Normal
11th Jan 2005, 12:24
I don't know where the personal responsibility and "having to make choices/sacrifices" have gone. :(

This couple obviously knew that it would be problematic for them to have a child, due to their rosters. Yet they have one and expect their employer to accommodate their choice?

I do believe in fairness and equality, but this is not the question of sex discrimination towards women.

In fact, I suspect this lady is making it harder for female pilots to get a job, by being unreasonable to their employer. If she wins, the companies may become more reluctant to offer female pilots a job, in case they demand a "special" working arrangement that costs companies more. 50% work, 50% pay will cost the company disproportionately more than 100% work, 100% pay workforces, due to medical, training and backup administration costs etc.

I think what she is demanding is very unfair to BA.

Just because she's female, it does not mean that she had no choice but to have a child. She (hopefully in conjunction with her husband) made that choice to have a child. Discrimination is about things that you do not really have a choice over - sex, race etc. Having a child and being disadvantaged as a result does not seem at all discriminatory to me. In my parents' days, they used to make a choice between children and career. My mother was one of those women who did make that choice and sacrifice. I think that's the way it should be. As some people have said, you can't have your cake and eat it.

I'm sorry, but the type of flying they are doing is obviously quite incompatible with having a child. If she loved her career so much, she should not have had a child. We all have to make choices and sacrifices in life, and it's sad that some people can't see that. I notice this more and more from the female population when it comes to having a child and career - they seem to see both as their automatic right - and to have the best of both worlds! It simply does not work that way.

11th Jan 2005, 12:40
If Jessica started in BA in May 2001, thats 44 months ago, less 9 months pregnancy and say, to be conservative, a year maternity leave. So a total of 23 months of flying to accumulate about 900 hours, assuming she had a couple of hundred starting in BA?? Do BA FO's really do that little? Yeah I know duty times in BA are high relative to flight hours, but 450 hours a year seems very low. Now, where do I apply?!

Hand Solo
11th Jan 2005, 13:08
No they don't do that little. Jess started at BHX where FOs were doing 600-650 hours per year in a base where the majority of sectors were less than 1 hour. At LHR you can look forward to 750+ hours.

This case will make no difference whatsoever to BAs policy of employing women as they have positively discriminated in favour of women for years and made no secret of the fact. Just check out how often female pilots appear in the in-flight magazine (every other month) in comparison to the proportion of female pilots in the company (less than 10%). If the company want to pull out all the stops to recruit females (and occasionally, but not in this case, flex their own rules) the they've nobody to blame but themselves when they find maternity leave and part-time requests go through the roof.

11th Jan 2005, 13:17
You cannot believe how thrilled I am, best news in ages.

For years BA have pursued a PC policy of preference for female applicants over male. Sexism at its covert worst.

The chickens have now come home to roost.

I sincerely hope the high proportion of female pilots in BA follow their colleagues example and drive the airline into bankrupcy.

11th Jan 2005, 13:24
What Irony! Claiming sexual discrimination that, if the case were successful, would actually be guilty of sexual discrimination. :hmm:

[QUOTE]BA's lack of accommodation for working mothers works to exclude females from its pilots."[QUOTE]

Replace "Mothers" with "Fathers", "female" with "males" and "pilots" with "parents". Then you have an equally valid case.

Complete load of tripe until a case is brought forward for both sexes! The rest of the arguements about deciding whether or not to have a child as a pilot are secondary.



Non Normal
11th Jan 2005, 13:25
Just to add - I find it unfortunate that many women in the workplace do not seem very committed to their career - the fact that many shout about their rights to have children and be committed to the children (which in itself is an excellent thing) at the cost to their job quality and employer.

"I'll have kids whenever I want, you the employer has to work around it" is not an attitude to have if you are properly committed to your career.

Before anyone accuses me of being a woman-hater, I happen to be one of them.

11th Jan 2005, 14:15
Couldn't agree more, Non Normal. Unfortunately a case like this gives the rest of us a bad name.

BA may be able to cope with all the female crew going 75% because of the kiddies at home, but a smaller low cost operator certainly wouldn't, and would therefore now, after seeing this case, perhaps be less inclined to employ a female.

I am Birddog
11th Jan 2005, 15:21
Ironic how for a country that boasts as having a supreme level of education and a more civilized society than the rest of the world…hasn’t yet given up it’s Neanderthal roots.

In Canada...there is legislation that will now provide 1 parent with 1 full year off of work to raise the child at home. That can be split between both parents if so desired.

Wait ...it gets better...

Now in the next year or so the legislation will allow for 2 years off with pay.

Degradation of society is not because of bad TV...because the family core has disintegrated. We as Canadians are investing back into the foundation that made THIS country great.

The Family unit.

11th Jan 2005, 16:35
Methinks it's the French influence in Canada - fine and lovely in principle, but who's going to bloody pay for it? "With pay" is also a misnomer in many countries - I in my fond ignorance at one stage thought that normal Irish maternity leave was on full pay, but there is no such animal unless the company voluntarily pays the full amount. If it's being paid by the government, then why don't you ask people how much more tax they want to pay to allow someone a fully paid year off to bond with their child? Can't you see the legitimate concerns of women on this forum who know that the crumbs they are allowed in their "normal" airline stand to be swept out the door because someone who lives in BA world is looking for a lifetime supply of gold-wrapped foil biscuits?

I also note the complete lack of supply of material facts by people on both sides in BA who are pro or con, despite efforts to lecture us on discussing what we don't know about. What is it, guys and girls - would we not understand?

11th Jan 2005, 16:36
Similar to what we have in France I am Birddog. Mothers are entitled unpaid leave. Cannot remember for how long but I think fathers can have the same provided the mother is not already on it. Same is for "sick child" leave, up to 6 days paid (8 if more than one child) and unpaid from 6 days up to 15, for the mother OR the father.
50% Maternity part-time is a right but cannot remember exactly until what age (I think 4). After that age you still can request part time but it's on seniority and quotas.

I don't think haaving a child is a luxury or a "life choice". It is only if you consider a women's responsibility only. But it's not. Having a child is a family affair, and the whole society affair. We NEED a new generation. If women find it hard to raise children AND work, it is only because jobs have been tailored on men's rythms when men were still taking for granted to have someone home taking care of the family. The solution is not to make women choose between family OR work, but to make life bearable for working PARENTS. But this should not be made by BA alone, thus burdening it alone with social costs: it should be THE LAW. So that even small charter or low-cost would be forced to grant it.

11th Jan 2005, 16:40
How is having a child not a life choice???

11th Jan 2005, 18:13
.I am a Birddog , It's a great idea for the employee, but what does this do to the small company that someone has worked so hard to startup ?
Who pays the full salary, if it was the employer I imagine many small companies would simply not be able to afford to pay 2 year full time pay with no work to show for it and a replacement member of staff. I know if I was a small firm I would (and I know it's wrong) be very sceptical about employing a female if my company was already running close to the border between black & red. As for the multi massive companies I imagine it's not such a big deal.


Erwin Schroedinger
11th Jan 2005, 18:25
I assume that the female pilot in question accepted the job with BA on the basis of the terms and conditions of employment offered at the time.

If those t&c did'nt include a right to work 50% then she has no basis for an appeal.

This should be thrown out of court.

That simple.

Next silly question, please! :rolleyes:

11th Jan 2005, 18:44
flystudentWho pays the full salary
In case of part time you are paid for the time you work and are not paid when you don't. If you work 50% you get 50 of your salary. Usually (I'm speaking for a few countries I know of) there are laws to ensure that companies don't carry the financial burden of granting part time and unpaid leave, which is essentially that they have to hire more people to cover for it.

Jordan D
11th Jan 2005, 18:44
Further to my earlier post in this thread, surely sex discrimination is when one sex has a benefit or privilage not given to the other. Correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't the BA rules on min hours applicable to both males and females. If so, then she doesn't have a leg to stand on. Otherwise if they are beneifcal to females I hope every male parent who works for BA challenges it.


11th Jan 2005, 20:12
I do not think I would be happy, as a patient, to go under the knife of a surgeon who only worked part time. I would correctly figure he is more likely to make a mistake and kill me. Even more so an anaesthetist. In any High Court action I would insist on a full time Barrister. Let alone trust myself to a part-time parachute packer! Is the world going mad or is it just me?
I'll get me coat!

Carnage Matey!
11th Jan 2005, 20:32
No its just you. I trust you never get on a long haul flight with those lazy pilots doing just 10 sectors per month compared to 10 sectors in a few days in short haul. If I was going under the knife I'd rather have a part time expert than a full time a full time jack of all trades! Familiarity breeds contempt and all that!

11th Jan 2005, 20:36
...wish mil aircrew could get 50% contracts...I know just which sandy, dusty tented 50% I would chop...

Tough one all round!

11th Jan 2005, 20:53
LO Carnage Matey!
Thanks for your post! Now tell me how you can have a part time expert! QED.

11th Jan 2005, 21:03
PS Carnage Matey. Ten sectors a month could equate to 100 hrs per month. Exactly how is that lazy? PPS I did 20 years Long/ Medium and 20 years Medium/Short. That's full time, not part so I do really feel able to comment.

Carnage Matey!
11th Jan 2005, 21:05
Easy. You work for years, then you go part time. Its the way lots of consultants, surgeons and barristers work. Just because you work 50% of days doesn't mean you lose 50% of your knowledge, experience, expertise or reputation!

PS the lazy was tongue in cheek. However in my company ten sectors per month is likely to equate to a maximum of 5 sectors acting as P1, even less if you are operating as part of an augemented crew. Thats could be achieved in as little as two days on a short haul fleet. Spending 80 hours in the cruise/bunk with little or nothing to do but make position reports does not make for a great challenge or experience builder. Experience has shown that as a community the long haul pilots in my company often struggle with the manual handling of the aircraft due to a chronic lack of exposure, so much so that many now receive an additional day in the simulator to practice their handling. No such requirement for the short haulers.

11th Jan 2005, 21:09
Given the choice of having my family flown by a line pilot or a mangement pilot, I know which I would choose. You can do your own choosing.

Carnage Matey,
So explain to me why I am currently engaged in helping an old lady sue a highly experienced \'part time\' surgeon (just keeping his hand in) for incompetence, citing not only other cases that he has cocked up but also the disapproval of his peers? In life- critical professions you need to think very carefully about others, not just yourself and your career and expectations.

stormin norman
11th Jan 2005, 21:30
Ask the majority of full time staff at BA ,and i would think they would all like this Lazy ungrateful lady to go and seek employment elswhere.

11th Jan 2005, 21:47
LO Carage Matey,
Almost in real time here-if I wasn't so incompetent on the computer I'd have had this in 10 mins ago!! Do agree with you re SH/LH but i feel there are some professions, usually involving the well being of others, that need to be treated very carefully with regard to anything less than full committment by the participents. Here endeth............!

Carnage Matey!
11th Jan 2005, 23:38
There are also plenty of media reports of medical negligence cases amongst full time surgeons. There are many highly skilled, gifted medical professionals working part time. The NHS relies on them. One case of negligence does not represent a convincing indictment of them all, no more than saying because a single negligent doctor was female or Asian that all female or Asian doctors are not to be trusted.
The key is whether the level of recency you maintain in your speciaisation is acceptable. In this particular instance I am far from convinced the safety argument is valid. The CAA sets the standard required. Even on a 50% contract the pilot in question would be working ten days per month on multi sector days, gaining more handling experience than any of our long haul pilots. Indeed it is quite possible for some senior people on short haul to fly less than 20 sectors per month if they are able to work only the high credit day trips, so it is quite possible she could be gaining more experience (if not more hours) than them. BAs objection to this request for part time working has everything to do with cost and nothing to do with safety. It's rather ironic that the architect of the affirmative action program for women is now quoted on the BBC News website spouting safety concerns. It seems the cost of his program is returning to haunt him.

11th Jan 2005, 23:50
On the previous page, the comment: I don't think having a child is a luxury or a "life choice". Was correctly picked up and challenged, although not answered. The original went on: We NEED a new generation.
Actually - we don't! There are more than enough new humans in the world and the Western world could do worse than throttle back on it's own reproduction for the benefit of the world.
A new generation will happen irrespective of the BA decision. Human beings have made that clear for some years now! ;)

"I tell you, we are here on Earth to fart around, and don't let anybody tell you any different." Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.

Non Normal
12th Jan 2005, 00:19
Sooner or later, employers will prefer to employ sterilised or sterile people if these "parental rights" shouters keep winning...

12th Jan 2005, 00:21
When I started out in aviation, I made a conscious decision not to start a family because I knew it was incompatible with what I wanted to do.

My career now spans 36 wonderful years starting out as general aviation dogsbody, pilot, flying instructor, air traffic controller, airport manager, safety investigator, safety auditor etc etc. It has been wonderful, and I'm grateful.

Times have changed, I know. But as has been said previously, who wants to be Superwoman? I could not have done what I've done, if I had started a family.

I like kids, especially when they cry and someone takes them away. And yes, I admit I might have four furkids at home at any one time.

But I've had a lot of fun; my employers have been good to me, and I have returned their respect.

You really can't have your cake and eat it too.

12th Jan 2005, 08:22
Some people should get hold of some facts before they shoot their mouths off. Jessica deserves credit for having the courage to take this public, I'll bet she doesn't bother to read the drivel on here.
Drivel? I haven't seen any drivel.

Mrs 401 and I are considering adding to the family. First things we are considering are what will happen work wise, what we are entitled to etc, second is cost, i.e. tax credits, child benefit etc. That way we can make a concious decision as to whether we can go ahaed and do it.

If we took the Mrs Starmer approach, we'd have baby first, think later.

The choice to have a baby and making the time for it is our responsibility, not our employers. If what our employer offers is not good enough, we need new jobs before starting the family.

It is yet another example of the reduction of responsibility in our allegedly developed society.

12th Jan 2005, 08:32
I know very little details of this case, but it seems the crux is whether the rules changed after she became pregnant.

It has already been ably demonstrated above that full-time/part-time is less of a determinant of ability than type of flying/sectors. Will you be insisting that pilots have their CVs pinned on a noticeboard beside the gate to the aircraft so you can decide if you want to take the risk with those individuals? It could have number of sectors/hours in the last month/year; the amount of sleep they managed to get last night; a list of what is bothering/distracting currently; and the score of their IQ and flying aptitude test and alcohol level for the publics' perusal.

Would you rather fly with the part-time pilot with 1500 hours or the guy with 200 hours on his first sector out of line training.

Perhaps all female pilots should be sterilised as a part of their CPL requirements, or least sign a pledge upon employment that they won't procreate and that they acknowledge they are not allowed to change their mind ever. Don't have to worry about the guys though, they have a wonderfully convenient thing called a wife: takes care of all the domestic inconveniences and makes sure his offspring are ready for presentation and smelling of baby powder at his Kodak moment type arrival home. Perhaps all new mothers should have a partial lobotomy at the maternity ward to remove all personal ambition.

Maybe all successful people/countries should contract out baby rearing to less advantaged countries/areas. We could send our babies to rural areas of France/sink estates in Glasgow where unemployment is high and get the benefit of bilingual sprogs (I think Glaswegian counts).

All you pompous dinosaurs have never been asked to choose between family and career, you can have it both because you have wives. I don't know why God gave women intelligence (don't say it) if having a baby relegates us to Tesco shelf stacking.

It's not ideal, it's not easy, but until men have evolved to a higher level where they too can have babies, we have to share the burden. The debate is whether the burden should be shouldered by the family/employer/government or all three. With women pilots making up only 6% of airline pilots the airlines are carrying way below the average employer burden.

You can't look at the requirement for child care as simply a number of labour hours that can be performed by anyone. Parents/mothers want to be hands on, but in four years when school starts this woman will still have 25 years to give BA. Sure she might have more children. But what sort of society are we? Why is flying any different to stacking shelves at Tescos and why is it so emotive? If this woman passes her sim checks what more have you to say?

Good luck to her.

12th Jan 2005, 09:12
First of all, I'm not a pompous dinosaur. But I totally disagree with what this woman is doing.
As you mention at the bottom of your post, parents/mothers want to be hands on. If she knew she wanted to raise her child herself, she should have considered taking a career break to bring up her child, not insist on being allowed to do both at the expense of the company. It all comes down to BA then having to cover the costs of her re-currency checks, medicals, etc etc and only getting half-usage of her.
As I've said before, this only highlights the potential problems that smaller companies might face should they employ lots of female pilots. And I'm afraid that there isn't a bias towards recruiting females anymore. With all the aptitude tests etc currently being used by the majority of airlines when recruiting, it would be easy to let a female slip through the net as a result of a 'poor performance' in these tests - with the real reason actually being that a compnay just can't afford to run the risk of having her go off in 2 years to reproduce.

And as far as choosing between a 200hr guy just on the line or a part-timer with 1500hrs - I'd go for the 200hr guy everytime. (Although they'd be likely to have slightly more than 200hrs after completing their line training, what with it being an average of 30sectors(?)). The 200hr guy/gal would be fresh, extremely aware of what was going on around them, and you can guarantee that the Capt would certainly be keeping a close eye on them as well. With the 1500hr guy/gal, they've had a few days off, don't really feel like being as work because little Jonny kept them up last night... they know what they're doing so they can relax a little....

And you top it all off with a great little bit at the bottom :
>>but in four years when school starts this woman will still have 25 years to give BA. Sure she might have more children<<
So BA could run the risk of having her 50% for the nest 8-10years if she has more children. Is that really fair to the company?

12th Jan 2005, 09:58
Have been following this thread with some interest. Mrs P-T-G is currently on maternity leave from her job as an employment lawyer, and we have been discussing this a fair bit.

An employee has the right to request part-time working, but they do not have an automatic right to be granted it. If the employer has a policy that is not discriminatory, then they have no problems.

However, the word discriminatory is a bit open-ended. If a policy would have more of an impact on women than men, then it is discriminatory. This would seem not to be the case here.

Employment tribunals come out with some strange decisions. Even if, on first glance, there is no case to answer, tribunals often err to the side of employees.

The other option is for BA to pay her off, as it is cheaper than the legal costs of a tribunal case.

Even if this lady wins, she will not get her job back, and may struggle to get another in this close-knit industry, but if she wins big, she may not have to.

12th Jan 2005, 10:03
P T Gamekeeper - what a load of old cobblers: SHE HASN'T BEEN SACKED! She won't need to "get her job back"... keep up!

12th Jan 2005, 10:15
Sorry, slight error on my part.

From what I have read, it seems she is claiming constructive dismissal, ie by their actions, her employers have made it impossible for her to continue in her job. This is effectively the same as the employer sacking her.

If this is not the case, and it is just pure sex discrimination, then the rest of my post still stands.

Feel free to reply in a civil fashion rather than shooting from the hip.

12th Jan 2005, 10:19
No, she's claiming "Indirect Sex Discrimination" not Sex Discrimination, Constructive Dismissal or anything else.

12th Jan 2005, 10:33
Indirect sex discrimination - ie BA's actions have a greater impact on women than on men, rather than actually saying "You can't brcause you are female". Still sex discrimination, whether indirect or direct, the penalties and outcomes are still the same.

It would seem that the 2000 hr limit for 50% PT applies equally to men and women. Are there more issues here than just part time working? The BBC website mentioned a lack of facilities for mothers. Is this the case?

12th Jan 2005, 10:41
Well as a father with a year old daughter good luck to her. BA have dug themslves into a right hole over this and they deserve to lose.

The mothers of 80% of under 5's work. Get used to the modern world. Companies must be flexible. BA will get another 25 years out of this pilot. Its not a 2 aeroplane cut me own throat operation. A company of that size should be able to cope with a few people wanting to go part time for a couple of years to look after children/ elderly relative/ pre-retirement etc.
I would think they will be looking for a few more A320 pilots pretty darn quick when this is over to cover the others who will go part time.

Finally here are 2 questions

1) will she do more or less sectors on the A320 part time than a full time 744 pilot?
2)If she had wanted to reduce her flying to 50% in order to become a pilot manager as oposed to parent what would BA's response have been?

12th Jan 2005, 11:07
:) Well this has all caused a furore.
Whatever one may think of this case, and I personally think it should be slung out, JS has rather messed her bed aviationwise.:yuk:
I for one would try very hard to avoid employing her if she ever appeared in front of me at a selection. She is no champion for anything other than her own agenda. There is here an element of self centered renegation of contract which, whilst I carry no banner for BA, I fnd unfair. A swingeing attempt to use emotional issues, some might call it blackmail, in order to change terms and conditions of employment because of a wilful act which was plannable, predictable and preventable cannot be quite right. Even if not quite so wilful, would the wise one not have insurance in the event of contraceptive failure to cover the resultant potential nanny fees? Perhaps BALPA might be able to offer some sort of cover advice for this contingency since that organization chooses to involve itself so deeply in this emotive issue. Furthermore, why is BALPA is so involved in this matter anyway? What politics flow under the surface here?:hmm: I hope that, if the tribunal find in JS's favour, the composite members have the opportunity to thrash through a northern winter flight with a low time, inexperienced and somewhat uncurrent crew. That should ginger them up a bit. An award for excellence because of an engine failure drill successfully carried out? That sort of mishap happens all the time in the world of third level carriers. That's part of what we get trained and paid for. The alternative is potential suicide which might just be what JS is about to inflict on the very cause she purports to expound:E

12th Jan 2005, 11:23
1) will she do more or less sectors on the A320 part time than a full time 744 pilot?
Probabably not. But then, with her 1,200hr experience quoted elsewhere, she's unlikely to have the "experience" to be on the 744 fleet. 1,200hr wouldn't get you to an interview with some carriers.
Anyway, what about check & training pilots? Last month, I managed 1 landing. This month, I'll be lucky to complete 2 & February aint looking much better. The difference, however, is that I - and all the other checkers & trainers - have developed the skills to cope through experience.

2)If she had wanted to reduce her flying to 50% in order to become a pilot manager as oposed to parent what would BA's response have been?
Looking at it practically, how likely is someone with 4 yrs in BA (given the number of pilots they have with more experience & also ably qualified) going to be considered for such a role? I give her 2 chances - slim & fat.

Only my humble opinion, (I don'y work for BA & only know what I've seen in the press/media) but BA is not refusing her a part-time contract; she can have a 75% one now & when she achieves 2,000hr total she can have a 50% one - just like all their other pilots, male & female.

Decisive Attitude
12th Jan 2005, 11:30
It can be hard to take a clear view on this simply because it's not clear whether all the facts are in the public domain or not.

Certainly, from what I have read here and elsewhere, a pilot joined an airline on certain terms and conditions. Those T&C's led the pilot to believe that they might be able to make a long-term and intensive commitment to something outside of the workplace on the grounds that they could enter into a 50% part-time working arrangement. On application for this arrangement, the pilot saw their application refused and the eligibility criteria for said arrangement changed to their detriment.

There is a genuine cause for grievance here, a case to be answered. A case of breach of contract perhaps, or a dispute over the terms of employment. Alas, not so. The issue is considered sexual discrimination on the grounds that 'women are more likely than men to apply for 50% part-time working'.

I can understand, given WR's commentary, why this might be so - but I simply don't buy it. The rules are equally applied to all. That the likelihood is that more women would apply than men is not down to the airline. All staff are equally entitled to apply and the fact that more women do so than man is hardly attributable to the airline. I personally agree that mothers and fathers should both become more equally responsible for the raising of children, and over time perhaps general society will agree. In the meantime, to apparently hold the airline to account because of the attitudes of society seems itself to be somewhat discriminatory. If the mother wins this case, it will leave a taste of affirmative action in many mouths - which is fine, if you consider such policies to be an adequate way forward.

Some mentioned that it is shocking that BA don't have a policy on this, and are waiting for the tribunal to decide what the policy is. Actually, it isn't that strange. Given WR's viewpoint, it's easy to imagine that they do have a view on it and would like to implement it, yet are waiting for the outcome of this tribunal to see whether such a policy is legally enforceable, lest they find themselves in yet more hot water.

It could be argued that the way this claim has been interpreted is nothing more than a display of cynicism, almost as if a breach of contract claim or dispute over the terms of employment wouldn't stir the emotions as much as a sexual discrimination case would (as evident already on this thread). As if the airline wouldn't be as quick to perhaps offer concessions or an 'out of court settlement' (either literal or metaphorical) if the grievance was claimed to be more as it appears to some of us bystanders. As if the 'other' ways of presenting this grievance wouldn't provide the same level of polarised, populist support from sympathetic quarters.

Questions that, if answered, might crystallise opinion on this issue include:

Has the father, a pilot with the same airline, considered applying for 50% working instead of the mother? Parentship is a joint responsibility. As people have said, it shouldn't necessarily be 'left to the woman' in this day and age. As a captain with the same airline, surely he'd have the requisite hours to qualify for the arrangement. If this move hasn't been considered by the couple, why not?
Would the airline and the couple concerned be willing to enter into an arrangement whereby both of them work 75%? Again - if not, why not? Is it the case whereby it is only suitable for the couple if the mother is the one working part-time? Or is the father already working part-time already?
If I can play devil's advocate for a moment, if neither of the above alternatives have been considered by the couple, who exactly is being the stereotypical 'dinosaurs'? The people on this thread at whom the accusation is levelled? Or the parents for failing to adopt the progressive, modern-thinking attitude that both parents could be responsible for the upkeep of the child?

In the absence of the above answers, it can be easy to jump to incorrect assumptions about the case. Yet in the absence of those same answers (and, perhaps, even with them) it can be understood why the 'can't have the cake and eat it' school of thought seems to the fore in many.

Finally, there are two sides to every story... except this one. Here there are four. There are those who choose to adopt the attitudes of old, who don't believe that women shouldn't be on the flight deck and who will use this case to cement their beliefs. There are those flag-waving equalitistas who will say that this is blatant sexual discrimination, who will huff and puff about chauvinism and about how 'we make the right noises but we still aren't really trying, are we?' and who will maintain that women should be eligible for any job they want (which is true) and be able to stay in them on whatever terms of employment are required to facilitate their motherhood at whatever personal cost or incovenience is required, as long as none of it is borne by the mother (which is perhaps more debateable). In the middle ground, you have reasonable and articulate individuals who look at the arguments objectively and decide to come down on either side of the fence. Sometimes, sadly, only to be accused of being liberal tree-hugging luvvies or of having prehistoric attitudes by those with more 'extreme' views on the other side of the fence. I hope that those on that middle ground, on both sides of the argument, cannot discuss this openly and objectively without running the risk of having our character assassinated (often wrongly so).

12th Jan 2005, 11:38
It must be very difficult for her to cope - particularly since her partner is also a BA pilot.

I reckon that BA will have to back down though. I dont see the problem at all. Why should people have to work flat out all the time anyway? There are loads of pilots wanting to take up the slack who would love to join BA. The currency thing is a matter for the CAA.

One could argue that a part-time 0.5 FTE pilot may arrive at work happier and more well rested and therefore safer in any case

This child friendly legislation thing will come up again and again - .... and not just at BA ... it makes sense for mothers and fathers to be with their children and not at work all the time...

12th Jan 2005, 11:49
Will a 50% roster actually help her? She will still have to work full shifts when she is at work, so will still not be able to get the childcare outside normal working hours.

I think a lot of changes are imminent in this field. As a new dad with a working wife, this is becoming a big issue for me. A company willing to bring in child friendly policies will make itself a preferred employer very quickly.

As always, the balance has to be struck. If we want reduced rosters and flexible practices, we have to be prepared to be hit in the wallet.

Decisive Attitude
12th Jan 2005, 11:52
There are loads of pilots wanting to take up the slack who would love to join BA.

Maybe, but maybe not. Presumably anybody who joins BA specifically to 'take up the slack' would be joining on a part-time contract themselves - and possibly a finite contract according to however long Ms Starmer wished to remain on part-time working.

I know many pilots and of those out-of-work, I'd speculate that they're all seeking full-time employment, not part-time. And what happens when the person being 'covered' returns? Does the cover pilot lose their job, and the seniority that they may have accrued while doing it?

If you're going to force the part-time working issue on BA then, as someone else rightly stated, it should be done with legislation so that all EU carriers are subject to the same rules.

Let's not forget that BA laid off a lot of pilots because it said it needed to trim the workforce due cost. If the staff numbers are then increased again, due an increasing proportion of people going part-time (and note the BALPA statement which seems less to do with Ms Starmer's specific circumstances and more to do with PT working being more widely available across the fleets) then, unless all carriers are subject to the same legislation, BA could lose all the competitive advantage it gained by laying off those pilots.

12th Jan 2005, 12:02
As I understood it is EU legislations which have brought the matter of part time working to the fore. It is available to both men and women who have "caring responsibilities"

12th Jan 2005, 12:05
ptg raises an interesting question:-
Will a 50% roster actually help her? She will still have to work full shifts when she is at work, so will still not be able to get the childcare outside normal working hours.


Where exactly is child friendly employment going to stop?

1. Mum feels that it would be better if she were at home overnight, so that she would be there if one of the children wakes up with a nightmare, so can she not be rostered any night duties and they be shared out instead amongst the male employees or the other females who choose not to have a family?

2. Mum feels it would be better not to work weekends, it is easier to use kindergartens etc during the week and weekends are important for family bonding and meeting other family groups

3. Preferential rights for leave, it is important to be off during the school holidays or at Christmas which is after all a very child friendly time of the year. So mums should have first choice of leave

All these things are arguable and it is easy to see that some would say yes that they are reasonable. Others would argue that it is unfair on the other pilots to discriminate against them just to please motherhood. Then before you know it Jews will be demanding evey friday off alongside the Moslems, and all the junior FO's will become born again Christians as the only way of getting a Sunday off.

No, flying is not, and never has been, a family friendly job alongside many others such as nursing, firemen etc. who work unsociable hours.

We knew that when we joined, of our own free will.

12th Jan 2005, 12:07
Jessica was a BA sponsored student who finished Oxford in early 2001. BA have invested a fortune in her and as such deserve a return. In the same period that she has clocked up a massive 1100 hours I have clocked up 3000 hours, even with maternity leave it sounds like she was working part time!

How is it discriminatory? When she reaches 2000 hours she will be able to go 50% At the moment it is felt that with the hours she has, she isnt experienced enough to keep up her flying skills whilst flying at 50% I would tend to agree, based on the last four years minus 1 for maternity she has only flown 300ish a year full time, cut this to 150 and you have a recipe for disaster. This would apply to both men and women, so how is this discrimanatory?

Carnage Matey!
12th Jan 2005, 12:18
BA didn't actually lay off any pilots, it just made the rest work up to 50% harder, which is why there is massive demand for part time working particularly on short haul where a lot of junior people are getting mightily cheesed off with not having a weekend off for 6 months and not seeing their kids for more than a couple of hours in 6 days. This is the primary reason BA are fighting this case; not because there is a safety issue involved but because they fear they will be deluged with requests for increased part time working from every direction. Thats costs money, which directly affects the bonuses of Flight Ops management! The company claims it can't afford it, yet offers part time working and job share in spades in other parts of the company rather than grasp the nettle and cut unnecessary jobs and expenditure. There are double standards at play in that respect.

Whoever said four years experience wasn't sufficient experience in BA for a management job may be surprised to learn that there is a flight manager with less than 4 years in BA and the general manager for the Airbus has less that 7 years in the company. Admittedly they were experienced pilots hired from other airlines, but the company has previously allowed ex-cadets with less than four years to take on pseudo-management roles which reduced their flying hours significantly.

Finally as it all seems to be getting quite personal with people asking why both parents don't go 75%, well the answer is they are already.

great expectations
12th Jan 2005, 12:34
Right, hang on.

The thing I like about BA is that they employ female pilots who are real women - not women trying to be men in a man's world.

Women bring a different perspective to this job, and it's valuable.

As far as I can see, the only people who can't have it all are the company. If you hire female pilots, then you have to accept that in this kind of job you are obliged to make provisions for the gender difference. Nobody said we want equal rights. Face it, this lifestyle means it is hard to be a working mother. And obviously our priorities change over-night when we give birth in a way that the fathers' priorities really don't. So of course there needs to be a way to compromise so that the kids don't suffer as a consequence.

Don't make us choose between being pilots and being mothers. Because we didn't automatically make any sacrifice when we signed our contracts nor should that be something that comes to be expected of us.

A job is a job, but come on, children and family are really the only thing that keeps you warm at night guys. And Carnage, I have just been refused part - time by BA while my flat mate was granted it. The difference being she got it at the end of last year and I requested it now - and they said they are having a big clamp down. Reason being everyone wants it now. We are tired, working hard and we are cheesed off in general - I for one want more time to live my life. I thought this was a job, not a life sentence.

Big Hilly
12th Jan 2005, 13:01
Have been away for a few days so only just catching up with this thread but, in the meantime, this is from the BALPA web-site:

A British Airways pilot denied 50% part-time working so that she can look after her one year old daughter has been forced to take the airline to an Employment Tribunal. Jessica Starmer, 26, is being supported by BALPA (the British Airline Pilots’ Association) and will claim that BA’s denial of 50% part-time working amounts to indirect sex discrimination as women pilots are more likely to need to work part-time than their male colleagues. The hearing starts at Watford Employment Tribunal today, Monday 10 January 2005.
Jessica Starmer said: ‘Having to appear at an Employment Tribunal was the last thing on my mind when I started my dream job as a British Airways pilot nearly four years ago. Although I love every minute flying for BA, I’m also a working mum and need to work part-time to care for Beth, my one year old daughter. Being a professional airline pilot and a mother should in no way be incompatible and it would certainly be a personal tragedy for me and my family if I was forced to leave British Airways.’
Till now Beth has been cared for by relatives when Jessica has been flying (though Jessica herself used up her holiday periods to be at home with her).
Jim McAuslan, BALPA General Secretary, said: ‘It is totally unacceptable for British Airways or any other airline to put pressure on a pilot to leave a good professional job just because they also happen to have childcare responsibilities.
‘BALPA is working to interest many more young women in becoming pilots. Although there are still fewer than 500 women pilots flying commercial aircraft in the UK, alongside some 11,000 men, the flight crew workforce, like most other professions, is changing in complexion. As the pilot workforce becomes more diverse, with more women entering the profession, a new range of employment practices is required including part-time working. We are stunned that British Airways hasn’t woken up to this fact._
‘However, this Tribunal case is not just about helping working mothers who need to work part-time at the beginning or middle of their careers. More and more of our members are also likely to want to work part-time towards the end of their careers as part of flexible retirement arrangements.’
About Jessica:
After graduating from Oxford University in 1999 with a first class honours degree Jessica Starmer started an 18 month BA-sponsored pilot training course. She then joined BA as a pilot in May 2001.
Before joining BA Jessica flew gliders for 10 years and spent three years as a gliding instructor. She was a medal winner in a national junior gliding competition and was selected for the British Gliding Association’s national women’s team.
In 2002 Jessica attended a Royal Garden Party for young achievers and met the Queen. In the same year she received BA’s award for excellence for her part in handling an engine failure on a flight from Birmingham to Edinburgh.
Jessica lives near Wareham, Dorset, with her husband Simon (also a BA pilot) and her daughter Beth. It is rumoured that on staff that there are at least 5 other women waiting to see the outcome of this case as they too wish to go part time, (also mentioned in the video about the case on THIS (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/4160447.stm) page). I think the thing that shocks me most about all of this is that BA have allowed it to go so far. As someone above said, from a publicity and staff morale point of view, it would have been better to come to a quiet deal, which makes me suspect that the Bean-Counters are the sole driving force behind this one. . . .


Human Factor
12th Jan 2005, 13:22
Carnage Matey summed it up rather well, I thought. Someone's bonus is on the line by the sounds of it. The only worry is that BA seem to be awaiting the outcome of this tribunal to indicate the direction of their future policy. It would be nice if someone climbed out of their silo occasionally and had the balls to make a decision.

Personally, I would be quite surprised if Mrs Starmer lost. BA would then have to offer part-time working to anyone who wanted it and the floodgates would open. IMHO, this is a reflection of their unwillingness to take on BALPA earlier regarding the closure of the FSS scheme and the refusal to recruit new pilots. As a result the rest of us have had to work significantly harder over the past year or so and consequently want to cut back on the hours.

Interesting times ahead yet again.

12th Jan 2005, 15:14
IMHO, this is a reflection of their unwillingness to take on BALPA earlier regarding the closure of the FSS scheme


12th Jan 2005, 15:19
Gee l hope she wins,l'm really hanging on the outcome, you guys can be such hardcases sometimes.

When l came back from Uni, at Oxford, for hols there was always some chap down the local banging on about the fact that he got better A-levels than me, but he wasn't accepted up there. That sort of talk always gets me down.

Then there was the guy down the local aeroclub who was always making sarky comments about the fact that he had 3000 hours airbus and didn't even get invited to an interview day.Gee it can't be that hard. l only had a PPL that mummy and daddy got for me and the airline swept me right up, paid the all the ab-initio and jet conversion stuff all the way through.Whats his issue?

Anyway l really rooting for the girl, l know what its like to bag that rich husband,theres so much social to sort out, who can find time for full time,and lets face it once your in your mid-twenties your pretty much burnt out in this flying lark.

Go Girl!!

12th Jan 2005, 15:26
BA would then have to offer part-time working to anyone who wanted it and the floodgates would open
Not necessarily Human Factor. Where I work you are granted Maternity Part Time only in the first years of life of the child. If you wish to keep your part time you have then to apply for a non-maternity part time which is not granted but subject to quota; which means that once you have decided how many part time people you need, you then grant it in order of application seniority. That grants no floodgates open. Here lots of people ask non-maternity 50%, but you only get it after years since the waiting list is quite long. I don't claim this to be the perfect solution, only showing that to every problem there's a solution, and that there are places where it is already working and the company is not going bankrupt.
As for vacation rights etc, our system works on points: you get points for every year seniority to allow you first choice on dates, plus ALL parents get more points for each children (more for handicapped children).

12th Jan 2005, 15:30
Without wishing to get involved in the rights and wrongs of this case, I was rather amazed to hear the young lady say on TV that "they couldn't afford childcare". With 2 BA pilots in the family that didn't help her case very much.
Also, from the info in the BALPA quote,perhaps they should live a little closer to LHR than Wareham. Lots of available childcare time taken up by travelling.
We all must make choices and compromises.

Human Factor
12th Jan 2005, 16:27
M. Mouse,

What I mean is that BA haven't recruited any pilots for a considerable amount of time. This was because they didn't want to rock the boat as BALPA had threatened action if anyone was recruited onto anything other than the NAPS final salary pension (but that's another thread).

Anyway, as no-one was recruited the rest of us had to work considerably harder to cover the flying programme. As there was less slack in the system, part-time working became harder to get.

Now we're recruiting again, hopefully some slack will return.

12th Jan 2005, 17:38
Can't afford childcare ? 2 pilots - they are having a massive laugh.

She's only been with BA since 2001 and she ALREADY has a 75% part time contract - what is her problem?

Some people in BA have had to wait 7 years for any part time contract.

I've waited 4 years already for 75% and still have no indication at all when i may have it.

She should think herself damn lucky she has a job at BA , even on 75%, and by going around stamping her feet demanding even more after 4 years service, is making a complete mockery of the women pilots at BA.

Everyone who wants part time at BA bides their time and awaits their turn - they all want it for various personal reasons.

Just because she suddenly decided to have a family 3 years into her career , and then decide she didn't want to do her 210 mile round trip drive every day (is that a good thing?) 3 weeks out of every 4 is her problem ,not the companies.

It has been mooted that BA has to invest £100k in every pilot they recruit - that is one hell of an investment in a very damaged industry - If she then decides , she only wants to do half the work in this prestigious career BA have given to her, then this is totally the wrong way to go about it ,dragging BA through the press ,tv media and the courts.......

Oh yes, in addition, there is a well known lady on shorthaul fulltime at BA with three youngish children and divorced who copes admirably and never moans once - perhaps there is a lesson to be learn\'t there........

12th Jan 2005, 18:11
Can't afford childcare ? 2 pilots - they are having a massive laugh.

The problem is that money can't buy child care at 3am.

In some parts of the country it's next to impossible to find child care during daylight hours let alone at night.

Perhaps if BA provided child care facilities this case wouldn't be necessary.

Carnage Matey!
12th Jan 2005, 18:22
What, for 3 days?

12th Jan 2005, 18:28
If money can't buy childcare at 3 am on a 75% roster, how will a 50% help. If she cant afford a nanny, or hasn't got the space in her house, I think all she will be doing is reducing her problem to 50% of the time, unless she is hoping to work outside of bidline!!

12th Jan 2005, 19:11
Interesting to read from Big Hilly's cut & paste form the BALPA website that she is claiming on the grounds of indirect sex discrimination because women/mothers are more likely to apply for part-time contracts than men/fathers. Clicking on the link in the same post, one reads that Jessica also blames the Bidline rostering system.

Sorry if I'm being thick, but wasn't Bidline a rostering deal struck between BA (& its predecessors BOAC & BEA) & BALPA some years ago? Is BALPA is in danger of shooting itself in the foot by supporting her case?

Out of pure curiosity, I've put Wareham in Dorset to both LHR & BHX into The RAC's route planner; to LHR the distance is 105 miles & to BHX 170. Please note, these are the one way distances - for a short-haul pilot.

Tartan Giant
12th Jan 2005, 19:33
I have read all the posts, and can to some little degree see where she wants her cake and eat it - and indeed when she wants to eat it.

This lady pilot was damn lucky to get into BA and she knew full well the Terms and Conditions of the employment, and what the fall-out would be having a baby. It's a choice she made.

The employer should NOT have to bend over backwards and up it's own fuselage to pander for these natural eventualities.

As Anti-Ice states (and others) she is having a laugh with her sob story.

She flies now and then and is lucky enough to be operating a part-time roster. Others have to be content to wait 7 years to play that card. That's discrimination.

Along with her choice of marrying a pilot, and of living so very far away from her base, it cannot be the employers fault if HER choices screw her chosen career.

Some pilots with less money in the family kitty have to live closer to accomodate the silly things in life called "standby".

If she was an RAF pilot she would probably be saying, "you can't post me to a war zone, I have a baby to look after".

If you can't stand the heat of the kitchen, get out.


Mr Angry from Purley
12th Jan 2005, 20:10

So said Pilot would be trundling into work at 0530 having driven for 2 hrs with baby in the back of the car. Get real. 0300 in the morning equals a Nanny, plenty of them around from parts East. Contact Mr Blunkett for a quick work permit.
Whilst i have a little bit of sympathy on reflection of comments made i cannot help think that the no money plea and the PR is not helping at all.
On the matter of a BA award for excellence for handling an engine failure in 20002 enroute Birmingham to Frankfurt, the Mrs was the purser on the flight and got nothing for saving all those passengers lives!!!!! :*

Carnage Matey!
12th Jan 2005, 20:44
Wrong flight Mr Angry, the flight in question was from Birmingham up to Scotland, hence the diversion to Manchester. AFAIK there was no engine failure on a BA Airbus from Birmingham to Frankfurt ever.

12th Jan 2005, 21:09
The military are still trying to sort this one out!

Generally, it is still expected that the majority of non- Service partners will follow the Service partner - to the detriment of the non-Service partner's career / family contact. Modern day "flag followers". My wife still smoulders over this one! Genuine quote: If you were meant to have a wife we would have issued you with one!" Unquote. Neanderthal I know.

Families that have both partners in the Service do not have the easiest of times - and I suspect - I don't know - that one will make a career sacrifice if the family relationship is to work.

The military do send new mothers to war - and if the other parent is "rostered" to go too then the "wheels" may try to help by staggering each parent's posting - but there is no guarentee when the guns start shooting. There is invariably a grandparent etc who is prepared to help out.

I was separated from my pregnant wife and three year old kid for 8 months courtesy of "Queen & Country". 18 months after a memorable Xmas / New Year / Easter on Gulf War I.

I knew the score - wifey did not initially.

Carrying the workload for others is a real pain - but sometimes I think "there but for the Grace of God go I".

I think that squaring the Israeli Palestinian issue over a few bevvies would be easier!

12th Jan 2005, 23:02
Ahh, she joined in 1999, wasn't that the time when Big Airlines went through the transition from recruiting hard working frozen cpl's etc from the flying schools and employed some politically correct agency to interview one leggedblahblahblah with no flying experience ??
Well, they reap what they sow !

On a more serious note, if she wins, and I have no doubt that she will, life could be better for all.

Flying Lawyer
13th Jan 2005, 00:14
I notice BALPA's (understandably one-sided) version of the dispute makes no mention of BA changing the rules after she joined. I wonder if that's because whoever wrote the piece forgot what some might regard as her best argument or because they realise it's not as strong a point as some have suggested here.
If the rules haven't changed, then she either knew or should have known what they were when she joined. If she didn't bother to check the T's and C's to which she was agreeing, the problem is of her own making.

It seems from the two BBC reports linked above that she not only wants to work 50% but also expects BA to adjust its rostering procedures so she and her husband aren't required to work at the same time.
Was this obviously intelligent woman really unaware when she embarked on her chosen career that airline pilots have to work irregular shift patterns?
Or that child-care would be a problem if she married someone who was also required to work irregular shift patterns?
Or, when she joined BA, that there is a bid system based on seniority?

Interesting that both she and the BALPA spokesman claim BA is so unreasonable and is effectively trying to "force" her out. If I've understood it correctly, she's had 18 months pilot training paid for by BA (£100k?), maternity leave within two years of starting work and, in her third year, an offer of a compromise by which she would be required to work only 75%. After all that, she claims BA's practices exclude women pilots and reinforce the traditional male dominance in its workforce. :rolleyes:

I'm not in a position to express an opinion upon the staff morale aspect, but I certainly don't agree with the suggestion that the publicity is damaging to BA. I suspect many people will think she wants rather too much and BA is right not to give in to her demands.

Asssuming she didn't join BA on the basis she'd have the right to work only 50% as soon as she wanted and whenever she wanted, and based only upon what I've read here and in the press reports, I don't at the moment see any merit in her claim of discrimination. However, I'm not a specialist in employment law (which seems very odd in many respects), and the interpretation of 'discrimination' in alleged sex discrimination cases is often so bizarre, that I wouldn't be amazed if she succeeded in having her cake and eating it.
Opinion is strongly divided even in this industry-related forum. If she wins, I suspect public opinion will be similarly divided between those who think BA should have given in to her demands and those who think the law's an ass.

Non Normal
13th Jan 2005, 03:55
What this lady has said "Being a professional airline pilot and a mother should in no way be incompatible and it would certainly be a personal tragedy for me and my family if I was forced to leave British Airways." sums it up to me.

It's quite obvious to most people that the lifestyle of frequent nightstops, irregular hours etc etc would be quite incompatible with being a mother, whatever the profession. Many very capable ladies have given up their career to be a mother, or given up on the idea of motherhood to concentrate on their career. Not many children want their mother to be away a lot, anyway - is she not thinking about her child, and that the child would normally only see one parent at the time and not have contact with both at the same time, despite having both? Isn't that sad for the child?

This case could do a lot of harm to the prospect of woman pilots. I would not be surprised if the airlines became more reluctant to hire females - if it is financially disadvantageous to hire a woman, then I don't blame them for not wanting to hire them.

It seems to me that she is obviously not fighting for the advancement of female pilots - rather, she is simply fighting for her own agenda.

13th Jan 2005, 07:10
Aren't we all fighting for our own agenda?
I have to agree that the fact that she and her husband got a baby so soon after her training gives me personaly the opinion that it is unfair practise. BA could give her the 50% but could hold her liable for part of the training?

I think that as partners they could offer to both do a 75% contract and the fullfilment of him would be 100% and her 50%.

Any way; in the Netherlands with Transavia there is a couple that has this as well; a couple (both Captains) who have children(don't know if it is one or more) He fly's 100% and she 50%; she dous only fly Europe. So it's not impossible and also not "not-done"

Pointer :E

13th Jan 2005, 07:17
How can it be sex discrimination, when she is getting the same as is offered to all pilots...if she wins,all the male pilots should sue for the same thing...:mad: :mad:

13th Jan 2005, 08:06
Just a selection of the 'anti' comments:

"baby time should be factored into pre flight planning."

"the rest of us are getting a little p*ssed off with continually having to take up the slack as one or other of these guys has a day off for doctor/dentist/little johnny's ill."

"She should perhaps look towards getting a less demanding job."

"I'm shocked and appalled by this lady's behaviour"

"thoughts - don't get pregnant then."

"BA mainline is too nice to its crews sometimes"

"BA management will make her life hell if she should wish to continue to work with BA"

"Having a child isn't an illness or a disability, it's a lifestyle choice"

"She got pregnant anyway and now expect the company to adapt to her new life with the kid." Well that is little unrealistic, don't you think so.

"If she loved her career so much, she should not have had a child. "

"She is no champion for anything other than her own agenda."

After September 11th 2001 I took voluntary redundancy in order to look after my wife during a family crisis. We now have two young kids and have decided not to return to flying. Any airline job I look at trashes my family life. I find the real value in having children is actually spending time with them. They are much more interesting than adults - I have nightmares about being stuck on a slip with airline crew gossiping and talking shop etc. Downsizing and changing direction is problematic. We are both poorer and happier.

Sitting on the sidelines of the great UK PLC machine I observe the following:

The macro economic situation is driving a long working hours culture in Britain. The culture requires that you work hard, earn lots of money, pay for goods and services to make up for lost time and then give the rest to Gordon Brown. Where I live Mums put their kids in nurseries at 2 1/2 years and return to work or employ nannies from an earlier age. When Mums work they get home tired and stressed and spend little time with their kids. Familles lose out in this stressful situation whilst big business and the tax man wins. The kids are bored.

The whole Big Brother Nanny State culture is moving towards 'eight 'til six' working days in Primary Schools. Blair is planning over 2500 state run nurseries for pre school children. The State is gaining control over every aspect of our lives.

Here is a young Mum who wants to reduce her working hours to care for her child herself. Well, good on her I say. Probably the biggest problem in our society is the breakdown in the family which gives rise to all the other issues. It is doubly hard for couples working shifts never mind the random nature of an airline roster. This couple are stronger and smarter than most

Really, what is the problem with flying half a line? There probably won't be that many takers in the industry. It is as easy to write a two week roster as a three week roster. The currency issue is a complete red herring. Forty hours a month is plenty for currency on anything other than ultra long haul. If BA can get their head round this issue then the young lady might stay for a full career and they would surely recoup their investment. More importantly it would be better for the family concerned.

I don't but the 'politically correct' society. Some of the rubbish I hear daily makes my socks rot. Family values are priceless and worth far more to society than company profits or government policy.

13th Jan 2005, 08:39
I doubt if anyone would disagree that "probably the biggest problem in our society is the breakdown in the family which gives rise to all the other issues" nor that "it is doubly hard for couples working shifts never mind the random nature of an airline roster."

So what do you say to those people who've said that if a couple have children then, in the interests of the children/family, at least one of them (whichever they decide) should do a job which doesn't involve shifts, irregular hours, frequent nightstops etc?

Is there a reasonable argument that being a parent involves some sacrifice as well as great joy, so at least one (whichever they decide) should put children/family first even if that means not being able to do the job he/she would like to do if they didn't have children?

NB: Not expressing an opinion, just finding the different views very interesting.


Curious Pax
13th Jan 2005, 09:19
Perhaps cwatters a couple of pages back has a good business idea? Although 24x7 nurseries are definitely not the norm (if indeed any exist) creating one close to LHR could be a lucrative idea. With the volume of shift workers there must be a market for kids to nightstop there from time to time. The employers could subsidise it a bit, as the fees would need to be higher than normal as staff would need paying more to do night shifts, but using this case as an example it would save them money as the 75% roster would no longer be a problem. Perhaps I should go and see my bank manager!

Mr Angry - the supply of live-in nannys in Purley may well not be a problem, but you will find that as soon as you get away from big cities to places such as Dorset (to pick a place not entirely at random) that changes. When our son was born 5 years ago, our original plan was that I would work at home, but we would employ a nanny during the day to entertain him whilst I worked. However as the date for my wife returning to work got ever closer it became obvious that despite our best efforts there was no one available where we lived then (a smallish town in Cheshire). I don't know if you have children, but most parents don't just put a card in a newsagents window and take the first person to knock on the door, especially in this day and age. They want at least some degree of comfort that the hard choice they are making to put their kid into someone elses care for significant periods of time is going to be made a little easier by having some trust that the person selected will do a good job.

Ultimately this argument is always going to have 2 diametrically opposed sides - either women with kids have every right to work, but need help to achieve it; or women with kids should stay at home to look after them, and probably a majority of posters here are not going to change their views on that. However perhaps it isn't that simple - given the number of working mothers these days, and with ever increasing numbers of them in senior roles, not just on the Tesco checkouts, if they all left to go back to do full time child care then the country's economy would collapse.

I suppose ultimately that could help with the argument here, as several airlines would also collapse as the number of people travelling shrank substantially, which would return these women pilots home, trouble is the men would be out of work too!

Once the employment tribunal is complete, a transcript would be a fascinating read, because as other posters have said there has to be more to this story than is in the public domain, otherwise I can't see it would have got this far.

A final thought - if this case makes airlines reluctant to employ women pilots, that will shrink the pool of available bodies available in the job market (which based on this board seems to be improving at present). Shrinkage of pool equals increased cost of employment as either more money has to be spent in attracting potential employees (greater salary, more perks, less bonds for example) and current employees feel less vulnerable, and so more able to press for higher wage increases. Given the proportion of male to female pilots at most airlines I know which sounds more expensive in the long run, and it ain't the women!

13th Jan 2005, 09:51
Is there a reasonable argument that being a parent involves some sacrifice as well as great joy, so at least one (whichever they decide) should put children/family first even if that means not being able to do the job he/she would like to do if they didn't have children?

It is reasonable as long as it is not too much of a sacrifice. No parent should be a frustrated parent. We choose our careers before choosing to be parents, and this just because human beings go through different stages of maturity in their lives, and usually the call to a profession comes before the one to start a family. Usually you start to look around and choose to have a family once you have settled professionally. So why a professional, be it male or female, pilot or surgeon, should give up the profession he/she worked hard for years for, when just a reasonable amount of adjusting from the employer would be enough? (without referring specifically to the case of this BA lady)

13th Jan 2005, 10:14

>>So what do you say to those people who've said that if a couple have children then, in the interests of the children/family, at least one of them (whichever they decide) should do a job which doesn't involve shifts, irregular hours, frequent nightstops etc?<<

There is a simple practical problem.

Speaking from experience it is actually very difficult to change direction from airline pilot to another occupation. Once you have been in the industry for a few years you get 'kite marked' by other walks of life as a pilot. Non flying '9 to 5' jobs for pilots are few and far between and certainly not availible in this couples country location. You are over qualified for the low paid jobs and unsuitably qualified and experienced for middle ranking professional jobs. It is a very tight labour market and employers look for those most closely fitting their requirements. Additionally people look at you askance if you are a pilot looking for other work. Hard fact.

In order to change direction you need to spend some years re-training or run your own business. Both these would be incompatible with this couples desire for more with the child.

We are still sorting this problem for ourselves by the way and have ruled out a return to airline flying.

Bottom line is it hard, but not impossible, to get a non aviation / non flying job having been a pilot. I can understand why they are fighting so hard for their position and wish them luck.

13th Jan 2005, 12:37
Having graduated from Oxford University in 1999 with a first class honours degree, Jessica Starmer is well qualified to take up another lucrative career. Politics springs to mind if she only wants to work part time.

Girl Flyday
13th Jan 2005, 14:17
This may sound unsympathetic (and not terribly 'politically correct'!), but personally speaking, I think the 75% deal she's getting at the moment sounds pretty good. Presumably she wasn't forced into either a career in flying OR having a baby, and so the situation she finds herself in is entirely of her own making.

I have children (that I look after alone) and am but a mere PPL - but would have LOVED to have gained an ATPL in my 20's - and if I'd had the chance, doubt very much whether I would have then decided to start a familiy only a couple of years later. But if I had, then it would have been my choice - and so my 'problem' to deal with.

My comments may be a bit unpopular with some, but like the vast majority of working mothers, I don't expect the rules to be bent or adapted just to suit me - particularly if I have chosen to be in the situation I'm in!


Tartan Giant
13th Jan 2005, 15:21
Well said Girl Flyday - and far from being non-PC it is the absolute truth of the matter what you said.

Being PC is just a political farce, the truth sounds far better than circumventing the root of the matter with twaddle.

My wife and I made choices 40 years ago and did not expect anybody, or indeed any company/body to pick up the 'problem'.

I joined the RAF as a pilot and she gave up her nursing career to follow me where the RAF put me.

Another choice, we married before I was 25 and that meant NO "Married Quarters" and no Marriage Allowance from HMG.
I did not bitch and moan about it, or run off to some Tribunal with a sob story. I was 'posted' on detachments that kept me away from my young family (both babies) for months.
We were 'posted' abroad, away from immediate family and coped fine.

Employees ask too much of their employer - how the hell they run a business with all the Red Tape I do not know; and things like this young BA pilot with one child living mega miles away from her base wanting to re-write the rules takes my breath away.

Enjoy your PPL Girl Flyday and keep safe and happy when you fly.

Best wishes,


13th Jan 2005, 19:06
BA could ensure that they don't encounter more of these problems in the future by carrying out a radical re-orientation of their Pilot recruitment policy and -er start recruiting Pilots!

Hand Solo
13th Jan 2005, 19:18
Yeah 'cos they can't get pregnant. Great idea!

Girl Flyday
13th Jan 2005, 19:59
Can't say I blame you - which is why this case bugs me! It's bound to either make airlines think twice about employing women - or make all the MCP's come out of hiding in protest! Or both ;-)

Had it been me who'd been lucky enough to be sponsored to do my ATPL, I'd have at least felt some sort of loyalty / duty / gratitude to the company who'd given me that chance - and would not have then decided to procreate a couple of years later - and then further add insult to injury by repaying their training me by wanting rosters rearranged just to suit me and my sprog! Yes of COURSE I understand what it's like having a young child - but aviation is a competitive and demanding career - and so surely if you decide to try to combine the two, then it's at your own risk?

Maybe I'm being harsh - and maybe I'm just too old / embittered / non-PC, etc, etc - but maybe I also feel for all those who lost out to this lady when it came to selection - and for all of us who would have loved the chance to be commercial pilots, but are too old / ineligible for positive discrimination, etc, etc.....

Methinks the lady wants too much - or doesn't want either enough...

(donning flak-jacket, and diving for cover!)

13th Jan 2005, 20:55

>>My wife and I made choices 40 years ago and did not expect anybody, or indeed any company/body to pick up the 'problem'.<<

>>I joined the RAF as a pilot and she gave up her nursing career to follow me where the RAF put me.<<

>>We were 'posted' abroad, away from immediate family and coped fine.<<

I see your point BUT . . . is not the RAF 's remit and ethos a tad different from that of a commercial airline? People like to think of the airline industry as a career. However, there are basically two jobs going. Right seat or left seat. Once you are in the left seat that is pretty much your lot until retirement. Pilots look for other things like quality of life or more money. A job with BA is, well, just that - a job. These days we really are just a commodity in the eyes of the management. It is up to the individual to cut the best deal they can. Either side is on three months notice and the bargaining chip is used equally.

The RAF (I hope) still has values of service and commitment. It simply isn't like that in a purely commercial environment.

Just thoughts,


13th Jan 2005, 21:25
Yes! I think Girl Flyday has said what most of us MCP's have wanted to say all along.

I gave up getting agitated by female pilots, I am comfortable with that now and the few ( and it is a few) that I have known and flown with are very competent aircrew.

But a business has to be run as a business and when one is offered a job then the company who employs one is entitled to lay down the ground rules.

Now either this lady wants to be a BA airline pilot OR she wishes to be a mother of a small child, sadly the two are not totally compatible when she wants her roster written around HER availability!

I wish I could have my roster written around my whims as to when I wish to fly or not. As if rostering is not difficult enough without throwing into the equation every pilot has his/her own rostering requirements.

I have no doubt this post will cause shouts of horror and dinosaur from the PC crowd, but just get real and accept an airline is trying to be a profit making business not a flying club!!

Seems to me that joining this sorry excuse for a government as one of Blairs Babes would suit down to the ground.

Every time I see the TV pix of the House of Commons, unless there is a particularly nasty piece of legislation being "pushed through" by Phoney Tony, then only a handfull of old stalwarts ever seem to be present.

They make more money for doing sod all than one can shake a stick at and then put in huge expense claims most of which would be rejected by Inland Revenue if one of us tried the same game.

Yes Yes ! I think MP would be an ideal alternative for this lady and leave aviation to the professionals !!

14th Jan 2005, 08:23
Even before this case the sickness record in BA showed that the sickness record of Female pilots was the highest (worst) of all flyers.

Top of the tree (least % sickness) were Male Pilots, followed by Male Cabin Crew, Female Cabin Crew and as I have said at the bottom the Female Pilots.

Read into them what you wish, but bearing in mind the "investment" in a pilots training, and after this court case if YOU were in charge of BA selection would YOU cut back on female pilot recruitment?

I would!

This young lady has done the female pilot cause no good atall.

Also, what is the (BA and CAA) requirement for maximum travelling times/distances from home prior to Flying Duty?

14th Jan 2005, 09:04
woodpecker where did you get the numbers for sickness in BA?

Volmet South
14th Jan 2005, 12:03
The way this looks is as follows.......

Two pilots have a child and they cannot afford a nanny. (strange but let's accept it for the time being).

The child needs the presence of a parent.

BA allow 50% working once an individual has reached 2000 hrs and this applies equally to pilots of either sex.

One partner has the requisite hours to qualify, the other does not.

One partner wants to work 50% but does not qualify whereas the other partner does qualify but presumably does not want to work 50%.

The non qualifying pilot is claiming a case of sex discrimination against the employer.

There may well be discrimination but it would appear to be at home rather than with the employer.

If I have mis-interpreted the facts then I apologise unreservedly however if my understanding is correct, I hope it gets laughed out of court. The rules apply to pilots of either sex however unless there is a case where a male pilot has been treated preferrentially and this is being denied to the claimant then can someone point out where this is unfair ?

14th Jan 2005, 12:45
Volmet South You are forgetting we are talking about Blairs´Britain here......I have to agree with Flying Lawyer , in that I wouldn´t be surprised if she wins this. Who will end up paying for it in the end?

14th Jan 2005, 14:01
Just to add a couple of points of reference from an Asian carrier with which I am familiar.

This airline has by world standards a relatively generous maternity system for pilots. (It is well below world standards for cabin crew maternity benefits I might add.) As a result, the airline has seen notable cases of selective breeding, when women pilots join the airline. Their age would statistically suggest that they are late in starting a family, and yet they start one as soon as their contract, with its maternity benefits, allows.

There are also cases where this has been done a second time. It does not take much Maths to work out that two periods of maternity in four years of employment is a low rate of productivity.

In these cases it appears that the airline is being used by a small proportion of its women pilots to take advantage of the lower costs of producing children when in its employment. This upsets both the other women pilots and also many of the men.

The issue is, this is not going to go away. HR departments are way ahead of most of the posters here and are attempting to catch up with both the law and the quasi employment law that most of the lower courts seem to dispense. HR now factors in pilot wastage rates that reflect the earlier retirement and lower productivity rates of a proportion of their women new hires.

Pregnancy is a cost of doing business. Live with it. It is by no means fair, and it is discriminatory to people who do not chose to procreate. That it is discriminatory to those who are unable to procreate is an interesting legal minefield for trial lawyers with time on their hands.

14th Jan 2005, 14:53
Women unfortunately will pay - and the 2% UK ATPL figure will fall still further. Why should men not benefit from this legislation - oh sorry they can do...!

Is the 2000 hour figure for 0.5 FTE based around any evidence base as far as UK/EU safety regulation is concerned

A happy well rested pilot may be happier than a tired grumpy one and who knows make a better pilot notwithstanding that fact that they only fly half-time

Volmet South
14th Jan 2005, 15:50
Thanks Maxy101,

Blair's Britain it may be but picture the following.

If she wins then I'll sue my insurance company for not charging me the same car premium as my other half. I know that she has more years under her belt and therefore qualifies for the maximum no claims discount but ............ I have decided that's unfair because I'm a bloke and that's sex discrimination. Everyone is subject to the same T's and C's but that doesn't happen to suit me so they had better make an exception or I'll see them in court.

It's enough to make you :yuk:

Big Hilly
14th Jan 2005, 17:23
If she wins then I'll sue my insurance company for not charging me the same car premium as my other half. Actually, Volmet, if the EU have their way, it way well be illegal to discriminate against male and female drivers too. See here (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/3676476.stm). . . .



14th Jan 2005, 19:03
The funny thing is, Ladies and Gentlemen, that they obviously have decided NOT to be part of 'Blair's PC Britain' !

If you follow the whole Blairite agenda closely you will tumble to the hidden agenda. New Labour's plans for state nursery care and 'eight to six' Primary School Education will actually allow parents very little time with their children. The issue is the long working hours culture which they encourage, at the expense of family life, in order to increase economic output.

A Mate of mine, who flies for a UK charter airline, recently had a very hard time from his childs Headmistress when they tried to take the kid away for a weeks holiday during term time.

The message was clear - we control the agenda for your children and you the parents will go along with it!

What this couple in BA want is a very small adjustment in BA's working practices so that they can have time to bring the child up themselves.

This is actually entirely healthy and responsible. Stronger family values benefit everyone.

How many of you out there benefitted from having your parents around a lot? Would you have wished it otherwise?

14th Jan 2005, 19:06
. . .which take us right back to the question:-

Why accept a responsible placement in a company and almost immediately demonstrate total irresponsibility by rocking the boat to the detriment of all female pilots. With all the PC legistlation in place it is absurd to expect companies to continue to foot the bill for women to have children; I am right back where I began - Either they want children and accept the responsibility of their upbriging as a mother OR they want to be an airline pilot - it seems to me that the two are not completely compatible.

14th Jan 2005, 19:55

You say what this couple in BA want is a "very small" adjustment in BA's working practices so that they can have time to bring the child up themselves.
Nope, what this couple expect is for BA to make big adjustments to their rostering just so they can both go flying even though they've brought a child into the world.
It depends if they think their careers or their kids are more important.
healthy and responsible? Stronger family values?
If they were so concerned about family values one of them would stop flying.
How many of you out there benefitted from having your parents around a lot?
We did, but our parents decided both with demanding careers just aint on with young children.
Would you have wished it otherwise?

14th Jan 2005, 20:37
Exactly my point! BOTH with demanding careers aint on! So either he or she should give up for a few years! Make the required sacrifice, instead of expecting the world to revolve around around their (self-inflicted) needs.

Decisive Attitude
14th Jan 2005, 22:12
I'm sorry, but I don't consider it a 'small adjustment' either. It will require a fair amount of manual fiddling, one would imagine, to ensure the two parents are never cross rostered (or are even rostered suitably far apart to allow the one to drive back to Dorset before the other has to leave).

Consider this; elsewhere in these hallowed halls, there is a thread (http://www.pprune.org/forums/showthread.php?threadid=155526) about the life a new DEP FO can expect to lead in this particular airline. Much useful, real-word, nitty-gritty opinion is offered by those in the know.

One of the points oft-repeated is the fact that pilots in the aforementioned airline are now expected to work more and more hours than ever before. This point has also been raised in this discussion by those whom I have no reason to doubt are currently working on the BA line.

So... balance that against these requests for part time working. Will BA replace the 0.5FTE worker, both in general and in this specific case, with new 'resource'? According to current trends, no. Which means that the 0.5 man-working-year which is being 'lost' by the company will be made up for by the remaining crews on-fleet. So those people will work yet harder. OK -- one person going PT might not make much difference. Yet it was quoted that many more people want to go PT due, in some part, to the increasing workloads. It doesn't take too profound a leap in reasoning to see that this could spiral out of control. The cause leads to the effect, which leads to further cause.

One can also speculate at the logic BA might employ for not covering the PT-worker with an extra body. That new part-timer will only provide 50% productivity. The company will save money by retaining 50% of both salaried and sector pay. Yet, as has been raised previously by some, they will still incur the same fixed costs of medicals, recurrent training and perhaps even staff travel (?) and pension (?) as a FT pilot. Consequently the money the company loses with one hand, might just be balanced - either in full or only in part (I'll be the first to admit I could only speculate at the figures) - by the other.

If the company then had to employ covering staff in order to take up the slack, it would incur yet more cost which mean that allowing someone to go part-time could end up costing the company money.

I suspect that this is why the non-maternity PT-working is granted, as was stated above, on a very limited basis, based on seniority of applicant.

We all know that the cost wouldn't be much in the grand scheme of things, but we don't decide how that cost is considered - beancounters do. It's the beancounters that run airlines now. Similarly, we all suspect why many airlines aren't running in as sound a financial shape as they could. Again, it isn't down to the costs of the pilot workforce in many cases... yet that workforce is often the first to be given the sideways look whenever company 'rationalisation' is required.

Even if the airline does employ cover pilots, that in itself will open up a huge can of worms. Are they employed full-time or part-time? Just as a pilot in an airline can request to work part-time, presumably at some point they can request to come back to work full time once again. What happens if an airline, having backfilled with new staff after ceding part-time working to a number of it's workers, suddenly starts getting requests from the part-timers to come back full time? (For example, if the looming pensions crisis really starts to bite and some part-timers start to get the willies about the future).

Does the company let the backfilled staff go ("sorry mate, but Joe Bloggs and Joanne Smith are both back at work now, thanks for everything, kthanksbye...") or does it retain them and end up with an overstaffed pilot workforce? Can of worms number 1.

What happens when one pilot works his or her fingers to the bone for for three years, accruing seniority quite nicely thank you very much, ready to bid onto a better fleet.... only for pilots X, Y and Z - the next three pilots upwards on the seniority list, who have all been part-timing for the same period - to bid onto the same fleet and get the comfy seat by virtue of seniority? Fair? And then return to full-time since the goose has come home to roost and is ready to lay the golden egg? Can of worms number 2?

Anyway, I have rambled on and I digress.

Back to the topic in hand. I still maintain the this particular case has been fought, quite disingenuously as a sexual discrimination case when I think it is anything but.

Flower mentioned that the EU legislates for people with 'caring responsibilities' and affords them rights to part time working. I am sure that this is likely to be true.

Does the company have discretion in granting such PT working? If so, and she feels that they have applied discretion unfairly, she would seem to have a case of her legal rights being denied to her. Not sexual discrimination, neither direct nor indirect, IMHO.

Are the EU legal 'minimums' more generous than the BA 75% deal? Yes - she has a case for being denied her legal rights once again. No - perhaps she should settle for 75% or claim for breach of contract, assuming BA did change the rules after her application.

Are the EU legal 'minimums' more generous than the BA 50% deal? Yes - she's being denied her legal rights. No? Breach of contract again at best.

Yet she claims indirect sexual discrimination. Why? Because it 'sells more papers', so to speak? Because she perhaps expected BA to buckle under the embarassment of a discrimination case and give settle this quietly behind closed doors, away from the limelight?

There still seems far more to this than meets the eye yet from where I'm stood, there is something deeply unsavoury about it all.

(p.s. Carnage Matey - apologies for the redundancy claim. I was led to believe that some pilots opted for VR during the cuts of 2/3 years ago, but clearly this is bad info. Apologies.)

Norman Stanley Fletcher
14th Jan 2005, 22:15
Lots of wise words here - the girl's a waster and should be bombed out by BA at the first opportunity. This is a pathetic case brought by ill intentioned and greedy individuals who see a quick few quid. They are a disgrace to their company and profession. This girl's one of the luckiest people in flying and she needs to wake up and smell the coffee. There are many top quality young women who would give their right arm to have the opportunities she has had and would never abuse the system the same way. She is clearing the pitch for the lot of them. If there is any justice this will be thrown out within 5 minutes and the girl told to get a life and grow up. Sadly, there will be no justice and the greedy woman will probably make a fortune.

It is very reminiscent of those shameful days in the armed forces when all the women who joined knowing full well what the deal was got pregnant, had to leave and then successfully sued the military for loss of future earnings. Strangely enough every last one of them were all destined to make Brigadier and got deals to reflect that. Sadly there did not seem too much money in the kitty for anything else after that. If you happened to be a young army squaddie who got his legs blown off in Northern Ireland you just go a few quid and a pat on the back on your way out of the door into civvie street. Funninly enough, none of them were apparently ever going to make Brigadier and were also compensated accordingly. It's a funny old world.

15th Jan 2005, 02:24
Norman Stanley Fletcher what a wise young man you appear to be! Never a truer word posted on this net!

The blame lies squarely with the well intentioned but badly designed, re-designed and yet re-re-designed Welfare State.

It rewards idleness, it encourages reliance on the state (i.e the poor taxpayer who chooses to work for a living) it encourages young females to get pregnant in order to live off handouts for the rest of their lives, it encourages young males to abdicate their responsibilities as parents of the children of these young females and sadly it simply encourages the sort of behaviour we are seeing in this case!

This young lady (perhaps not the right description) is taking the pxxx along with her husband just trying to take the system and the taxpayer for an expensive ride and sadly with the Liberal Left Wing judges at present in charge along with the PC sorry excuse for a government she will most probably succeed!

15th Jan 2005, 07:15
I worked for two UK short haul airlines that managed perfectly well with part time rostering. One ( a turbo prop operator ) offered 'married rosters' for crew with spouse in other airlines. (The odious term 'political correctness' hadn't crossed from the USA back then! )

In another Jet scheduled company we had a lady Captain who flew half a line after she had her baby. She flew about forty five to fifty hours a month. These were rostered in two blocks of five days each.

I never, ever, heard one single gripe from another crew member about the situation. It was nice to know that the deal was there should you need it. The only comment made was that the part time pilots were flying more pro rata than those on a full line. Equally I never heard of any big technical problem in writing the rosters.

The issue has nothing to do with political correctness or feminism neither of which I am a fan of!

The UK has the longest working hours in the EU. The whole political agenda supports this as a means of raising revenue and boosting economic output. Family life is actually not well supported by the politically correct nanny state. In this case she will pay for time with her child out of her own pocket. Far from being greedy this pilot actually wants less work for less money.

A lot of Pprune's longer threads have debated the issue of fatigue and overwork - particularly in the low cost carriers.

From where does the angst arise against this pilot who is putting her head above the parapet for a better deal?

15th Jan 2005, 09:03
From where does the angst arise against this pilot who is putting her head above the parapet for a better deal

Probably from among we white, middle-class, middle-aged men who seldom seem to be in a position to benefit from any of the PC legislation pouring over us these days. Our only function in Blair's Britain is to pay the taxes in ever-increasing amounts and make way as early as possible for others of a more-favoured social group.

It is interesting to read the thread on this topic on the BALPA/BA forum. The tone is altogether different - much more supportive of the young lady and where there are objections they are more gently put. But, of course, the BALPA/BA forum does not allow anonymity.

What really struck me was the attitude of my 24-year-old daughter who hopes she is on the threshold of an academic career. The proto-femininists of yesteryear would be horrified. Boys, there is no such thing as the Sisterhood!

The whole story is a parable of our times.

You what?
15th Jan 2005, 10:45

No one has commented on my previous post ...
With respect WR, I suspect that the reason that no-one has replied to your post is that we are all rather tired of having, how shall I say this politely? "Enthusiasts" commenting on an aviation PROFESSIONAL's livelyhood.

15th Jan 2005, 10:48
A very interesting thread, this.

Spartacan:What this couple in BA want is a very small adjustment in BA's working practices so that they can have time to bring the child up themselves. They actually want their cake and eat it.

This is actually entirely healthy and responsible. Stronger family values benefit everyone. If that was their true agenda, then one of them would give up work to achieve it. 75% of the population can only dream of a combined income anywhere near the single income of a BA captain.

How many of you out there benefitted from having your parents around a lot? Would you have wished it otherwise? Well, I did, and so did my children (until divorce made it rather more difficult)

I try not to harp back, as times do change. But in my Navy days, the choice was clear, career or children (and unfortunately it was always going to be the mum's lot to decide)

My view is that personal choice, and I include a family in that, is a responsibility and not a right. Why on earth should companies (and I know BA could afford it, but smaller ones can't) pick up the tab?

Capt Sly
15th Jan 2005, 11:51
MercenaryAli said This young lady (perhaps not the right description) is taking the pxxx along with her husband just trying to take the system and the taxpayer for an expensive ride and sadly with the Liberal Left Wing judges at present in charge along with the PC sorry excuse for a government she will most probably succeed!
By going to work how exectly is she costing the tax payer money?!? Instead she will be paying £750 a month to Gordon Brown. Your logic is great.

A few years ago BA offered part time to people because it would save BA money (pay people 25% less salary but still get all the flying covered) beacuse the flying program was reduced (Gulf War etc) . Most people weren't interested as they weren't flying particularly hard, so the take up was low.

The tables have turned and until last week BA hasn't employed anybody new for 3 years. 200 pilots a year have been retiring and the remaining employees increasing productivity to get the work covered. So last year BA started a blanket NO to all PTWK. Your wife has died, no. You've got cancer, NO. You've got a sick parent, NO. You catch my drift. So now that it is inconvenient for BA they just say no, change the rules, and walk away. Considerate employer!?! Ha Ha.

Somebody did some research and came up with a fascinating figure - 66% of cabin crew in BA hold some form of reduced hours contract.

So it's OK for one group of people to have PTWK but its not OK for others.

You wanabees out there - the more people on part time, the more vacancies for you in BA.

15th Jan 2005, 13:25
You what?

Wind your neck in. Your response to WR might at least have been understandable if it had come from a BA pilot, but you're not a professional pilot and you don't work for BA.
The pilot's claim against BA won't be decided by 'aviation professionals' but by two people from industry, one with a union background and one with a management background, and a lawyer in the chair. They don't come from the industry concerned in the dispute, and they decide after they've heard what each side says.

This forum is public - BA personnel have private forums where they can discuss the dispute in private if they want.
You may be "rather tired" :rolleyes: of non aviation professionals commenting on the claim, but the thread has had 180 posts (some aviation professionals, some not) and 180,000 views to date so your suggestion that "all" aviation professionals might share your view seems unlikely to be correct.

WR has made some very helpful contributions to the discussion explaining employees' rights and employers' rights under employment law. Just like everyone else, you're free to learn from him or ignore him as you wish.


According to some press reports, the husband applied to work 75% BA agreed. I don't know if the reports are true.


15th Jan 2005, 17:00
Nope, I still don't understand why anybody should be at all upset that Mum is so detemined to get a 50% roster.

A comparison: My neighbours are lawyers. When they had kids the wife, after a maternity break, returned to work three days a week. Twelve working days a month is slightly more than a 50% roster. I don't hear the legal profession jumping up and down at the deal she has. Why should it be different for pilots? Beats me.

Moreover, since the work days are regular it is simple to arrange the child care. Much more problematic on a random roster.

>>But in my Navy days, the choice was clear, career or children <<

Fine. But BA is not a fighting service. It is a job like any other.

Volmet South
15th Jan 2005, 18:28

One can only presume that your lawyer neighbour qualified for the 50% reduction having met the required duration of service or that there was no qualification period in the practice. They probably had no need to stamp their foot and demand that the rules be changed to suit their circumstances.

When your partner has just flown 24 sectors in 5 days, you do get a slightly unsympathetic perspective on this :* The plus side is that she's building plenty of hours so that if she needs a 50% roster, she'll qualify within the rules, won't have to claim sex discrimination and cost her employer a fortune in legal fees.

15th Jan 2005, 22:35
Still stand by what I said earlier. She is challenging BA's decision to arbitrarily change the rules after she had made her application.

Unless all the 'antis' on here are management bean counters, I can't understand why people are seemingly against a professional UK pilot trying to achieve the same terms & conditions that have been granted to others before her.

The person who said she was lazy is sailing close to the wind - nothing could be farther from the truth. As they probably don't know her, it was unforgivable.

BA have not recruited for some time, when I joined 6 years ago I was 3500-ish, now there are fewer than 3000 of us. The Airbus fleet has increased in size recently and our targets have just got bigger.

It isn't easy to roster us to the maximum when there is such inefficiency inherent with LHR ops. I don't blame Jessica for doing what she has done and she has the full backing of BALPA, which is trying to recruit more women into the aviation industry.

It seems that some are struggling with a lack of knowledge of UK employment law.

Norman Stanley F, please tell me you are a wind-up merchant, sadly I fear you are serious.

Hand Solo
15th Jan 2005, 23:19
At the end of the day a company has the right to say NO

It's not quite as clear cut as that in the EU. If it was it wouldn't be at a tribunal now.

15th Jan 2005, 23:42

If an employer tramples on its employees and they all quit, it will have nothing left to manage

This isn't NY, it's GB

Flying Lawyer
16th Jan 2005, 00:29
I don't think the people here who don't support the pilot are "upset" - they just think she's being unreasonable and demanding a bit much.

There could be many reasons why your lawyer neighbour's position might be different.
eg (In no particular order)
Perhaps her employers were able to agree to her request without causing any inconvenience to the operation of the firm - BA says it would.
Perhaps if your neighbour had asked to work (for example) a 2 day week her employers would have refused and offered a 3 day compromise - the pilot asked for 75% and was offered a 50% compromise which she turned down.
Perhaps your neighbour's firm were prepared to put up with inconvenience/extra cost rather than risk losing her talents altogether - BA has weighed up the pros and cons and decided what this pilot has to offer the company isn't worth the inconvenience/extra cost of giving in to her demands, (even though they've spent a substantial amount of money training her and won't reap the benefits of their investment if she leaves.
Perhaps your neighbour's employers had no reason to be concerned about a possible 'floodgates' effect - BA say there's good reason why they should be concerned.
Perhaps your neighbour's employers are more than happy to have some of their lawyers on a 3-day week - BA says it can cope with some pilots on her fleet working 75% but not 50%.
Perhaps your neighbour's employers decided there were no risks involved in allowing a lawyer who only works a 3-day week to deal with cases - BA says there are flight safety issues involved and they want pilots to be more experienced before they work only 50%, but will compromise at 75% until they gain more experience.
Please don't misunderstand - I haven't got a clue whether there's any force in BA's arguments. I'm simply suggesting that because your neighbour's firm could accommodate her wishes it doesn't necessarily follow BA can do the same because the circumstances may be entirely different.

Since it's highly unlikely all the 'antis' here are management bean counters, perhaps there's something in what they say. It can sometimes be more difficult to be objective if we know and like the individual concerned.
From what I've read in this discussion, some people aren't sympathetic to someone who was picked up straight from university, given sponsored flying training and the opportunity to work for one of the best and best-paid airlines in the world demanding after only a few years that BA change their rostering system (efficient or inefficient) just to suit her - and then accusing the company which sponsored her training of discriminating against women when they refuse.
Others argue that equality between men and women means just that - not preferential treatment for women.
Others argue the couple created their own problem, that it's a bit much to expect BA to resolve it and, if BA can't or won't, one of the parents should choose between their love of flying and concern for their child.
You may not agree with them, but surely you can see there are good arguments on both sides?

Can you help with one point which puzzles me?
If there's no truth in BA's impractical/flight safety/cost arguments, what do you think is their reason for refusing her request? Floodgates concerns?

Interesting discussion.

Stan Woolley
16th Jan 2005, 07:44
Oh poor old BA - how will it ever survive ? Unreasonable individuals like this young lady are just so selfish!.

Nothing like BA management then?

Pilots terms and conditions have been systematically attacked by Airlines over the last decade. I really can't accept the view that '........it's just business', because many of the goings on have not only been bad for business but have without a doubt affected operating standards as well as deeply affecting the wellbeing of many individuals.

What about the many people who took part time contracts because of the relentless schedules at some airlines only to find that it really meant a fifty percent reduction in salary but only fifteen percent reduction in flying hours?I know lots who did so feeling they had no other choice.

'Life's Not Fair - Get Used to It! '
No doubt coined by someone in a Bentley.

16th Jan 2005, 09:09
Just for info ;

(i)her husband already benefits by working part time.

(ii) Part time pilots at BA receive a couple of advantages that are envied by full time colleagues - they are removed from the requirement to do standbys - and they still get promoted when their number comes up -
ie Jess will be eligible for command ahead of other pilots ( of similar seniority) who have grafted on a full time basis.

16th Jan 2005, 09:28
Maybe BALPA should be supporting full timers not having to do stand-by or part-timers being able to bid at Stage One? Or maybe that would dilute the reps' "package" ?

16th Jan 2005, 11:26

Nobody said it was fair, it's just employment law!

Which means some people can both have their cake, AND eat it. But for some couples, both of them on 75% just isn't enough of the cake.

Incidentally, am I correct in thinking that part timers are available for overtime on their PT days off? Sure would reduce the financial impact of their PT working.

16th Jan 2005, 11:44

I would still love to know why BALPA is supporting this claim.
The last seminar I attended, run by that august body, seemed to consist of little more than BA pilots and political appointees.
A dedicated Chauvanist, actually a French patriot and nothing whatsoever to do with sexual liberation, I hold no candle for JS nor her ilk. This does not mean that I have climbed out of the ark but rather that I try to balance all perspectives in this tortuous and tedious claim. Why then, is BALPA, which professes perhaps to represent all of us pilots, championing a cause which, at the end of the day, will possibly benefit one individual at the expense of collective damage to the rest of us? :ooh:

16th Jan 2005, 11:53
Datacon - its true but bizarre isn't it!

Tandem rotor said -"Which means some people can both have their cake, AND eat it. But for some couples, both of them on 75% just isn't enough of the cake."

I quite agree.

For part time Captain's, I heard one quote that as a result of working 75% his nett pay is only 11% less each month.

Perhaps one of the issues is thet on the Airbus fleet operating up to 60 sectors a month into BA's shambles at LHR can be very exhausting (more tiring than doing a similar number of sectors into STN with Ryanair perhaps?) - that's why there are a far higher number of BA airbus pilots requesting and getting PT than on other fleet.

I'm not sure which way I view this court case. I can see valid points on each side.
A few previous posters have commented on the Starmer's decision to live in the countryside 110 miles from LHR - and that surely has a deleterious effect on their ability to manage the job/home life balance.

One thing is for sure; That BA can't freely give 50% contracts to some employees then ration the number of 50% contracts they give to pilots.

16th Jan 2005, 12:29

The point that you make is a very apt one and the principle perhaps lies at the hub of the whole issue. At the risk of being a little Draconian, employers should perhaps have one and only one condition of employment and then stick with it like glue?:{

16th Jan 2005, 15:34
She is challenging BA's decision to arbitrarily change the rules after she had made her application.
If this really is the case, then why hasn't more been made of it? There would surely be no need for a claim under sex discrimination legislation.

But then I'm not a lawyer......:confused: :confused: :confused:

16th Jan 2005, 18:44
If this really is the case, then why hasn't more been made of it?

...because companies frquently write employment contracts that allow them to change terms and conditions but they aren't allowed to discriminate. I'm sure she has been well advised. You have to use the law as you find it.

I've always felt that the sex discrimination angle to this case was probably a side issue eg I'm sure BA will say male pilots with low hours can't work 50% either.

This means her claim is probably for what's called "indirect discrimination". It's is invoked where equal rules for male and female effect one sex more than the other for some reason.

It would be interesting to see what her legal arguments are.

Big Hilly
16th Jan 2005, 19:15
Flying Lawyer,

Floodgates is exactly what I suspect it is, my old chum. Much has been made of the 'female' aspect but let us not forget that 50% part time may suit many male pilots too; not only those with family commitments but also those nearing retirement (although, of course, they would not be subject to the 2000 hrs rule).


Airbus Girl
16th Jan 2005, 20:10
Can someone tell us how many BA cabin crew work 50% contracts after having their kids.
How many would be working there if they'd had to work 75% contracts. And we all know that BA cabin crew on the "old" contracts earnt more than new pilots.

For the uninitiated who think its "unsafe" for a "low hours" pilot to fly part-time can I just say:-

up until very recently most charter pilots worked very "part-time" for the entire winters - was this unsafe?

other airlines offer part-time working without the restrictions

I understand BA were happy enough to offer ANYONE a part-time contract after Sep 11th (coz it suited them).

The 2000 hour rule is a new one - prior to that they allowed 50% working by part-time pilots

The CAA have never ever queried part-time working and minimum hours rules so obviously aren't worried about the safety aspects

Why don't BA provide an in-house nursery for the hundreds of parents they have working for them on odd shifts (cabin crew and pilots)

Part-time working should be seen as a good thing, regardless of the reasons for wanting it. The only additional costs are going to be a couple of sims a year, and as the airline wouldn't have to worry about the maximum flying hours they could get the part-timers to do plenty of hours without hitting the duty limits

Many airlines were happy to offer part-time work when it suited them, and a company as big as BA should easily be able to incorporate it. Why doesn't it have a policy that one or both parents may go part-time for 5 years (until the child starts school). Then, as previously mentioned, offer part-time working only on a seniority/ allocation system

The airlines constantly tell us that there is a plentiful supply of new pilots out there, so what's the problem?

And if EasyJet, a low cost airline, can do it, surely BA can?

I hope she wins - I don't have kids, but I would like to go part-time. We need a life-work balance back.

16th Jan 2005, 20:11

No, you are wrong, you cannot get overtime on your days off, you are not deemed to be employed by the company on those days. Anyway, why would a part-timer want to work on his/her day off? The reason for being PTWK is to spend less time at work, not more.

Flying Lawyer: Hello I don't think we've 'conversed' before. Interesting discussion as you say, but spoiled by those who are ignorant of what the law says.

Yes one is less likely to be objective when the subject it known to me, but I work for BA, am male and am on a 75% contract (standing by for hate flamers here). Hence my opinions are based on that standpoint.

I think you are factually incorrect when you say Jessica is trying to get BA to change the rostering system as 50% PTWK is an option available for anyone in Flt Ops to at least apply for. She was just asking for that to be applied to her. BA then jumped in with an arbitrary rule change with this 2000 hr business which they have just dreamed up presumably to deter a flood of applications for similar.

BA probably refused her request because the Airbus fleet is underestablished. Our credit targets are steadily increasing and the fleet is showing the strain with recent flight cancellations due to lack of F/Os (Training Captains being offered overtime to fly in the RHS).

There have been problems with recruitment due to a pension dispute and the fact is that BA need more pilots now. Hope this helps, Flying Lawyer.

Those people who snipe at Jessica's hours total must remember that we have relatively little control over how many hours we work in BA, if the company construct inefficient tours involving positioning and long delays between flights and LHR T4 - T1 transfers, there is little we can do about it, but we all end up spending long hours at work. Add that to chaos LHR and I don't blame anyone trying to get part-time.

Airbus Girl, we posted at the same time. I think the answer to your question is here in this thread somewhere, something like 66% of CC are on some kind of flexible working arrangement.

16th Jan 2005, 21:07
Airbus Girl
BA certainly were not offering PT or Stand down to every pilot after 9/11. Some of us were denied it as we were short on our fleet. I also happen to know that some part timers have been abusing the system and accepting Draft trips on their part time days off. BALPA know about this, 'cos some of us complained about it. This goes back to a previous poster referring to how pilots will shaft everyone else if it benefits themselves.

16th Jan 2005, 22:19
This must surely be the dummest thing ever!!!!

We all want equal rights, but with that we also have to accept equal obligations!!!!!!!!

Claiming sex discrimination is just taking the p**s and abusing the system to get your way. I am all in favor of more female pilots, but they have to pull theire weight just like the rest of us..

Why is it that equal right only aplies to woman, and only when it suits them.

I say she needs to take her 75%, husband can do the same, or why cant her husband take 50% ????

Sorry, but I have no time for this, it just makes me mad. IF she cant cope like the rest of us, go and do something else.... :mad: :mad: :mad:

16th Jan 2005, 23:06
Too right Captskyboy, if she can't organise her life while she and her pilot husband are 75% , then why the hell should BA ,and in turn the rest of its staff pick up the pieces?

She is in a ultra privileged position in an industry thats finding it hard to get back on its feet after years of virtual bankruptcy.

She's been with the airline virtually five minutes, already taken maternity , already got a part time contract , and then she kicks the company in the face with a court case and dragging it through the media in a most tasteless fashion.

If she doesn't like her low seniority rosters,her 220 mile commute (is that safe????) ,combined with her chosen motherhood, then SHE has to sort it out.

It all seems very convenient, and she has bitten off far more than she can chew.

For someone who has offered BA the equivalent of a years work , she has taken a hell of alot in return - - a £100k investment, ,maternity leave, part time contract..... and she dares to demand more ???

Individuals acting like this have a major impact on a company and its employees on the whole - how selfish can you get ?

16th Jan 2005, 23:10
Individuals acting like this have a major impact on a company and its employees on the whole - how selfish can you get ? Ah but you forget, we are talking about the PC brigade here, supported by lawyers whose brains have been twisted by unblinding ambition and tortured by insatiable greed.

The various Lefties cannot comprehend the simple facts of economic life, never having had to earn a living in a commercial world.

So often cushioned by non-productive public sector and institutional jobs, softened by inflation beating pensions, perks and pay rises.

All paid for by the likes of you and I.

Flying Lawyer
17th Jan 2005, 00:18
Thanks BH
It’s true much has been made of the 'female' aspect here, but that’s not surprising given that Mrs Starmer is using her gender to try to get what she wants, claiming sex discrimination by BA. Her claim is as a ‘woman pilot’ rather than as ‘a pilot’. Even if the tribunal finds in her favour, the decision won’t apply to male pilots at BA.

Airbus Girl
I’d heard some cabin crew earn more than new pilots at BA, as you say. I didn’t believe it the first few times I was told. I assume their union is more powerful/effective than Balpa.
(It's probably no comfort, but senior barristers' clerks often earn more than many barristers even though we, like pilots, have to go through years of training to obtain our qualification.)

Thanks for taking the time to answer my question Overstress. (As you say, we haven’t 'conversed' before - hope you didn’t think it was forward of me when we hadn’t been formally introduced. :D ) Typical lawyer - always wanting more facts.
You say PTWK is an option available for anyone in Flt Ops to at least apply for. So no-one is entitled to demand to work part-time, only to apply? She applied to work 50% and BA said no, but offered a compromise which she turned down.
From what you say, and what a BA witness told the tribunal, it seems that anyone else in her position on the same fleet (male or female) would also have been refused 50% working.

According to BALPA –
BA employs 2,980 pilots, including 152 women.
In total, 72 pilots work part-time.
Of those 72:
61 are working 75% contracts
11 are working 50% contracts

So, in summary:
Only 11 pilots out of 2,980 are allowed to work only 50%.
Mrs Starmer applied to do so.
BA refused saying ‘Not at the moment’ – but offered a 75% compromise.
BA says (amongst other reasons) that the Airbus fleet is short of pilots.
You confirm that’s true.
It’s suspected that BA is worried about the floodgates effect if other pilots apply.
You say BA is short of pilots generally at the moment.

I’m afraid I’m one of those you say are ignorant of what the law says. In many areas outside my own field, I can make a reasonably accurate guess at what the law is likely to be/which side is likely to win. When it comes to employment law, I've learned over the years it's usually best do that and then assume the answer is the opposite.
On that basis, I assume her chances of winning a 'sex discrimination' claim are quite good!

17th Jan 2005, 07:45
...let's bear in mind why BA, as well as all the other airlines, are in business: Is it to "...provide an in-house nursery for the hundreds of parents..." or arrange some nice life for those employees who "...don't have kids, but would like to go part-time..." or maybe fly people the safest, most economical and effective way to their destinations?

Come on people! I say the same that has been said here numerous times before: this girl is just going to ruin about every young girl's chances for an airline career before (and during) their maternity.

We all must know that this is a demanding job with irregular and odd shifts and this fact will affect in our "civilian" life many ways, including commuting distance, social life, etc... Being a Professional Pilot covers many aspects of life, including the ability to plan our own individual future. If someone finds this too demanding, please leave the scene and let in those who can cope with it!

Flying Lawyer
17th Jan 2005, 08:32
Thanks for correcting my terminology. I think you're right, and have edited my post. As I've said, I know very little about employment law - and certainly don't have a "superior knowledge" of it. :)

I suppose, to be completely accurate, the allegation must be of 'indirect' or 'constructive' sex discrimination. From what I've read, there doesn't seem to be a scrap of evidence that BA has directly discriminated against her.

17th Jan 2005, 13:25

If 'this girl' is going to 'ruin every young girl's chances' as you say, then can you explain why BALPA, which is committed to encouraging women to become professional pilots, is supporting her? Presumably it wants to waste its time?

17th Jan 2005, 13:58
I was interviewed for BEA sponsorship at Hamble (many years ago) by a retired senior pilot (I almost said the C*pt**n word!).

The practise (I think) still continues.

If I were in the position of receiving my BA pension, ( wishing obviously for BA to stay in buisness) and at one of these interviews had to make the choice between a male or female candidate, bearing in mind the training costs (must be in excess of £60,000 even before arriving at Cranebank) I know which one I would chose.

There must be a few females out there who would like to meet this young lady!

17th Jan 2005, 18:50

Are you assuming BALPA has thought the possible repercussions through?

Has BALPA got a good track record for long-term strategy and looking after the interests of airline pilots in general?

Nardi Riviera
17th Jan 2005, 21:38
Woodpecker – you bet!

Said female pilot claims to have "worked long and hard" to get where she is. Ehhh, obviously 2-3 years seems like an eternity to an immature 24-yr old!
Like Girl Flyday expressed on page 10 – any female lucky enough to be taken on by a major airline should be careful about birth-control. Most professionals in any area wait until their 30'ies to have offspring, to secure their careers first.
Too bad this gal never gave a thought to the fact that her egotistical action may contribute to a setback for the female participation in commercial aviation..
One thing she's got in common with the male pilots, though: No matter how competent you are regarding the flying bit, your private life may suck hopelessly.
Sounds like a poor spoilt brat, finally banging her head against the wall of reality.
Day/night care is possible to find, if you want to! As well as housing closer to airport.
Praise to all cabin crew managing childcare while flying the same rosters as pilots.
(Maybe she should have taken advice from some of them before going to court.)
Shame on me for thinking that the female part of aviation was finally getting ahead!
:* :* :*

Capt Sly
17th Jan 2005, 22:50
Nardi Riviera saidMost professionals in any area wait until their 30'ies to have offspring, to secure their careers first.
Too bad this gal never gave a thought to the fact that her egotistical action may contribute to a setback for the female participation in commercial aviation..

Wow, just because its the way things may have been done in the past, does it mean that it should always be done that way? Should women have been allowed to vote? In your world maybe not.

A 'traditional' route for women may be to work for 5-10 years full time and give up her career completely to have children. JS on the other hand works for 2 years full time, has a child and returns to work part time. She then may continue to work for 33 more years, and may at some point return full time. So she completes the equivalent of a minimum 18 years full flying service.

Is there a law saying when you must have children?

FWIW I believe there should be access to part time. Possibly on a sliding scale. 50% for 2 years, 75% for 2 years followed by full time. Equally I believe it should be applicable to men if requested. The flight ops department doesn't have a part time policy though (apart from if you change fleet you have to give up part time).

18th Jan 2005, 08:05
Nardi said "Praise to all cabin crew managing childcare while flying the same rosters as pilots."
I'm afraid you need to understand that ( even on a full time basis ) cabin crew at BA work 60 - 70% of the hours and commensurately far less sectors than pilots.

Not wishing to wander off the thread - but cabin crew are extremely well treated with "gentle" rostering practices such as ;
(i) Generous 2hr min turnrounds at LHR .
(ii) Minimum 16 hours between consecutive duties
(iii) only 650 hrs per year LH - pilots do 900... etc etc

No wonder that they face an easier challenge with childcare than Jess Starmer might.....No wonder there is a "pent up" and unsatisfied demand amongst pilots for part time working.

18th Jan 2005, 08:59

'sounds like a poor spoilt brat'

Easy words to spout from the safety of your anonymous username, this contributes little to the discussion. Whatever it sounds like to you, this person is hard-working and dedicated, whether you like it or not. Your perspective is an unusual one.

(Off-thread for a moment:) As Shuttleworth says, you just cannot compare CC rosters to pilots. Their archaic working practices frequently leave pilots shaking their heads in amazement. Yesterday, one of our shining new 'purserettes' declined to accept a couple of extra club passengers as it didn't fit in with a 'matrix' requiring an extra crew member. This lack of CC flexibility is part of BA's problems at the moment.


If you were the interviewer in the scenario you describe, you would soon find yourself involved with the legal action that would be brought against you, for what you are implying would be illegal in the UK.

18th Jan 2005, 16:30
And how overstress would you police such action?

After all, what action has been taken over the "pink brigade" (in CC recruitiung) recently choosing a completed course of "pink brigaders".

Back to the point I was making. It would be easy to find "plus points" in a male applicants interview that tipped the balance. If selection were based on the number of GCSE's then it would be different, but it's not.

Look at it this way, does anyone out there think this young womans action have improved the chances of airlines recruiting more females?

18th Jan 2005, 18:34
>>Look at it this way, does anyone out there think this young womans action have improved the chances of airlines recruiting more females?<<

You could argue, that with a guaranteed option of half a line post-partem, the job becomes a much better long term option for women.

If that puts the airlines off recruiting women then they will have to manage the legal implications!

B Fraser
18th Jan 2005, 19:53
You could argue, that with a guaranteed option of half a line post-partem, the job becomes a much better long term option for women.

No problem with that, just as long as they have met the same qualification criteria as the blokes and don't go running off claiming it's unfair when they don't.

Common sense and economics dictate that you can only have a certain percentage of your workforce working part time and once the limit is reached (say 10%) then that's it folks.......and if you don't like it, vote with your feet and get a job that suits your domestic needs.

Jordan D
18th Jan 2005, 20:24
Having just got back online after my laptop was down, and waded through those many pages that have been posted since I last posted, I was wondering (as a student) if anyone could inform me:

1. Why have BALPA chosen to back a case, which by many people cannot be construed as sex discrimination?
2. Why did BALPA not choose to oppose the change in BA rules regarding 50% working, when they were made?
3. Why BA chose to change the rules?

Many thanks in advance, for aiding my understanding of the situation.


PS - has this tribunel actually started?

19th Jan 2005, 00:37
1. Because what 'many people' think doesn't matter. It's what the LAW 'thinks' that is important.
2. 'cos they were made after BALPA told BA they were taking it to a tribunal
3. See 2.

19th Jan 2005, 07:16
I will get shot for this but the lady knew the setup when she joined. I am getting tired of the I want time off for my kids and a well paid full time job brigade. You cannot do both. Kids take a lot of time. Jobs take alot of time. 24 hours in a day and 1 has to give way. I believe in equality for women but NOT doing my job and half of theirs too.
Equal pay for equal work and equal availability.

19th Jan 2005, 16:00

Why should you get shot. You state the truth. So, to perdition and the devil ; I, as a pilot and sometimes a passenger, would never wish for a female up front. they have proved themselves to be always unpredictable and they have a monstrous chip. That is not what I want in my cockpit. My life is short. I don't have the time for them to be re-educated. :uhoh:

Volmet South
19th Jan 2005, 18:22

Sorry but I have to take issue with your post. I recently flew to Manchester in one of Big Airways "Iron Chickens" (aka Dash-8) in absolutely dreadful weather. The crew did a superb job in handling the aircraft through significant turbulence and windshear and carried out a perfect landing in very difficult conditions prompting a round of applause from me and the other SLF.

I was the last pax off when the cockpit door opened. I asked which member of the crew handled the approach and landing. The captain turned and grinned at the lady FO who smiled politely.

I'm sure that lady has ovaries of solid steel !

Speaking as a passenger and sometimes (hobby) pilot, I have never met a lady aviator about whom I have had doubts, I wish I could say the same for the blokes.

Big Hilly
19th Jan 2005, 19:11
cavortingcheetah, I, as a pilot and sometimes a passenger, would never wish for a female up front. they have proved themselves to be always unpredictable and they have a monstrous chip. That is not what I want in my cockpit. My life is short. I don't have the time for them to be re-educated With an attitude like that, I suppose one can only be thankful that you appear to be no longer flying. . . .

This from your post of 8th January 2004:Can anyone tell me what the SACAA would requie, apart from a medial, to renew a South African ATPL which expired over two years ago? I have not flown over that time and my UK aTPL has also lapsed. I have their web site but prefer to remain anonymous.
Or do you really expect us to believe that you went from a lapsed license to 'Airline Captain' in less than 12 months? :suspect:


20th Jan 2005, 08:37
I thought this was about a pilot's sex discrimination case.
(Sorry to hear about your refreshment towel and aperitif Beagle.)

Big Hilly
The usual, boring band of misoginists and chauvinists? :eek:
Is that how you see folks that don't share your opinion about the lady's claim?
Seems to me as someone it don't effect there's been a whole bunch of good arguments on BOTH sides and some bad ones on BOTH sides.

Big Hilly
20th Jan 2005, 08:52

The usual, boring band of misoginists and chauvinists? Is that how you see folks that don't share your opinion about the lady's claim? Far from it! There have been some excellent posts with valid points for both sides of the argument. I was refering to such gems as:[I] would never wish for a female up front. they have proved themselves to be always unpredictable’or:There is always a place on the flight deck for lady pilots......it makes the overnights much more interesting and besides, there is now someone to do the RT.It’s just a shame that a few people on here see it as an opportunity to regurgitate the same, rather sad, tired old nonsense every time an issue involving a Lady Pilot appears on these boards. . . .


20th Jan 2005, 10:00
Does anybody know when the ET is expected to pronounce it's verdict? I read somewhere that the hearing was due to end last week.

20th Jan 2005, 12:26
Bronx, thank you for your concern...:hmm: But it's true that little things mean a lot and continual cut backs on even such small things as I described will eventually drive customers elsewhere. Straws and camels' backs?

It's interesting to note the astonishing dinosaur comments from some on this thread regarding lady pilots. We had several in the military and they were fine; if lady pilots can cope with the stresses and demands of military flying, they can certainly cope with bumbling along the airways in a people tube...

But this young woman does not appear to be doing herself or her peers any favours. What would have been her options in another company? If more generous - or appropriate to her state - than those offered by ba, then perhaps her views could be viewed more sympathetically. But an Employment Tribunal? That's ridiculous; a negotiated settlement should have been possible long before things reached that stage. All this will do is expose her to ridicule.

In the RAF, pilots once used to receive a daily 'flying pay' supplement after gaining their 'wings' - the rules are more complicated these days. But one woman decided to farrow during the period between passing training and starting operational conversion, there being a 12 month 'holding' delay at the time. She was therefore 'unfit for flying duties' - and was most miffed when her flying pay supplement was discontinued; the system had decided that her condition amounted to little more than a 'self-inflicted injury'! Then later, the very day after her 'wings' were confirmed through attaining her Combat Ready status, she announced that she was yet again up the duff. Withdrawn from flying duties, she was then put into an Ops job. Then the RAF decided that they'd got too many pilots, so introduced a redundancy scheme. She left with a considerable sum under this scheme, having contributed absolutely nothing. It's that type of tactical brat-breeding which really gives the ladies a bad reputation even though it's only a devious few who try to milk the system for all they can. The overwhelming majority of lady pilots I've met have been equal to their male peers-except that they don't stink of BO or fart on the flight deck!

Or at least not as often... :p

20th Jan 2005, 15:58
>>What would have been her options in another company?<<

I have heard of Mums flying half a line in bmi, easyJet, Maersk (as was) and GB Airways.

20th Jan 2005, 17:00
Let it go Big Hilly - get out more and mix with folk with a sense of humour.

Know what "Tongue in cheek" means??

20th Jan 2005, 17:16
. :E:)
I suppose that I really do have to reply to the press which my otherwise perhaps ill considered diatribes have given rise. I have managed to get my literacy skills sorted out and apologise for any previous typographical errors.
It constantly strikes me as I peruse Prune that, apart from the moderators, there exists some lack of sense of humour. I have been bailed out by a female pilot once. It was a joy to give her a cuddle and a cup of coffee afterwards. I did not marry her.Ovaries of steel were never to my liking and do not lend themselves to procreation, which, dare I remind everyone, is what this entire shebangie started out life with in the first place.

Big Hilly
20th Jan 2005, 17:37

Big Hilly gets out plenty but mercifully mixes with people whose idea of a sense of humour isn't stuck in an era where flock wall-paper, flares, Bernard Manning and a Ford Capri Ghia are la mode du jour. :ok:

There's a time and a place for such humour, ideally in private, amongst your friends (if that's what floats your boat). Such comments on a public web-site in front of tens of thousands of 'viewers' does little but damage the image and credibility of 'modern-day pilots'.

OK, now, I'll let it go! ;)


21st Jan 2005, 08:26
In this world of femalization,people very often says about female salaries being significantly less.

They cost much more to the company.They get pregnant(almost 2 years out), they have to take care of babies, their absentism tax is much higher( see the flight attendants),and they still want the same salaries.

Everybody knows what this life of flying is.She already knew BA`s roster before getting pregnant.

Life is a constant option...

This speech of discrimination irritates me....People know the rules..

Imagine if I have a motorcycle accident and I loose a leg. Then I go to the court sue the company for discrimination with disabled people.

My girlfriend is flight attendant at a major airline ,and she is going to quit flying when the time to be pregnant comes.

If you want to be a good mother you are in the wrong profession.
And as long as you want to be a good profssional you can`t be a good mother .

Nowadays women want everything at the same time.

They have lots of curiosity about becoming pregnant but don`t care about educating after that.
OK the kids are in the best school,but there are things the school will not learn.

I hate this political speech of discrimination....

:yuk: :yuk: :yuk: :yuk:

Big Hilly
21st Jan 2005, 09:15
brakedwell, Does anybody know when the ET is expected to pronounce it's verdict? I read somewhere that the hearing was due to end last week. Just spoken to a chum and apparently the verdict won't be given for about another 4 weeks.


21st Jan 2005, 10:31

And as long as you want to be a good professional you can't be a good mother .
Absolute tosh; the professional knows how to juggle both.

I think you rather underestimate where you came from, and the necessity to slightly subsidise female jobs through maternity leave in any workplace to allow our own society to continue.

With my economist hat on, the growth of the female workforce has been one of the largest drivers of economic growth in recent years through the enhancing of the workforce in numbers and consummate increase in spending power.

There is a way to be sensible without being politically correct, but you are neither - the days of a woman's place in the kitchen are long gone my friend, and you will find yourself very quickly isolated with such an opinion.

In this case, fact is that she knew what was offered when she joined and BA's options for working mothers are pretty good. It is one thing to be accomodating to your career and parenthood and quite another to ask the world to drop to thier knees and work for you.

I rather question her committment to aviation more than anything else.

22nd Jan 2005, 15:18
Quote -
There is a way to be sensible without being politically correct, but you are neither - the days of a woman's place in the kitchen are long gone my friend, and you will find yourself very quickly isolated with such an opinion.

That is a popular misconception put about by pushy females and wimpy blokes! In fact the VAST MAJORITY of women these days still fulfill the role of Mother to their children, wife to their husbands and spend most of their time taking care of business in the home! The children of such homes are better balanced (fact from several independent studies) do better at school than those from fragmented or single parent homes and are LESS LIKELY to become a Divorce (or separation) statistic themselves in adulthood.

Oh! I can hear the sucking of teeth and screams of "Dinosoar" etc etc but whether the wishy washy leftie liberals like it or not it is a fact of life!!

And don't bother with all the acidic personal attack type replies because I don't give a sh 1 t !!!

:ok: :mad:

22nd Jan 2005, 17:31
If you want to be a good mother you are in the wrong profession.
And as long as you want to be a good profssional you can`t be a good mother .

I think that we've all lost sight of something here: It's that being a mother itself is a good profession.

These days, you have to have a job to deemed worthwhile by your colleages, friends and family. Such a shame that something so important isn't seen as such. Perhaps this case highlights a deeper issue that we should be looking at.

My wife and I have agreed that when we become parents, one of us will stop working, and be a full time parent. It's not that both of us don't love our work, but to be a parent is far more an important task. As such one of us will do it full time.

Quite simply, that's the level of attention it deserves.

Stan Woolley
22nd Jan 2005, 17:41

Spot on! :ok:

Captain Sand Dune
22nd Jan 2005, 20:02
The whole thing smacks of the "having my cake and eating it too" syndrome.
IMHO if a couple cannot give to the child-to-be the attention it deserves perhaps they should reconsider.
Do the couple in question merely want the child as a fashionable accessory to be flick-passed to the nanny when it all gets too hard, or are they prepared for the responsibility of raising a child?
I am fortunate enough to be able to adequately provide for my wife and three boys without her having to go out to work. Yes, we could do a lot better than "adequately" if my wife went out to work, but we choose not to.
Intersting to watch the reaction of some women who ask my wife what she does ("stay home and look after the boys, goats and chooks dear!"). "Oh........that's interesting" they sniff......:hmm:

23rd Jan 2005, 07:19
Agreed , Mothers are mothers and cannot work as well . To my mind it's the governments of the world who encourage working mothers who are wrong , greedy and behind all this . They just want the various taxes from the monies earned which they wouldn't have from a non-working mother .

Jordan D
23rd Jan 2005, 09:25
If you want to be a good mother you are in the wrong profession. And as long as you want to be a good profssional you can`t be a good mother .

I haven't heard so much rubbish in such a while. Whilst my mother isn't a pilot or in the aviation industry, she has worked hard in her job whilst I was growing up. Now she is reaping her rewards in her field (accountancy), as the CFO in a large financial company.

You can be a mother and a successful professional.


23rd Jan 2005, 10:09
Yes Yes I am sure your mother is a genius, a wonderful mother and the world's best accountant! Bravo, she has done well and you are obviously well balanced however as so often happens in these matters even you are missing the point.

If ALL women who were mothers went merrilly off to work inevitably leaving behind the children, there would be a big gap in the home life of those children and the father/husband.

Just get real - someone; and tradition has it, whether you like it or not, that women take care of business in the home! It works for the VAST MAJORITY even in the 21st century.


23rd Jan 2005, 20:12
It takes to people to make a child, but I understand that it is only the womans obligation to volunteer for raising that child (made by those two people). That means in this case (like in many others) offering her career, maybe her biggest dream, (oh, I forgot that a womans biggest dreams should have to have a baby), while her husband can work like a pilot or whatever else he want to do, and earn money for his sweet little family.
The men get their cake, and eat it, so what are you screaming so loudly about???
And happily for you, there are a lot of stupid women out there, who give up dreams, and careers to raise children (what do we need them for anyway?). And again, who where talking about eating their cake???
You really know how to do it!
Keep up the good work guys!:hmm:

23rd Jan 2005, 20:16

I am to infer from your post that if I name any successful woman I am also naming someone who cannot be a good mother...?

23rd Jan 2005, 21:01
I "Know" of a "part-timer", not aircrew. Went P/T to "look after her children"...then "volunteers" for all and every o/t going

Captain Sand Dune
24th Jan 2005, 03:56
I understand that it is only the womans obligation to volunteer for raising that child (made by those two people).
Maybe according to you. The "obligation" is to ensure the child is raised in a caring environment. Yes, in the majority of cases the woman is the one who stays at home after the child is born. However "Mr Mums" are not unheard of. Again, this is the sort of thing that should be considered before committing to starting a family.

And happily for you, there are a lot of stupid women out there, who give up dreams, and careers to raise children
I would thank you not to call my wife (and many, many others for that matter) "stupid", becuase she made the decision to stop working to stay at home with the children.

to raise children (what do we need them for anyway?)
You sad, sad person.

24th Jan 2005, 12:44
Ahem... er, sorry to be controversial here, but IMHO as a father of two, having children IS a career - full time, rewarding, unpaid yes, but a career all the same. From my, slightly dylsexlic perspective, we are in serious danger in this country of creating "baby farms" to allow parents to carry on having a "career". Childcare is a step in that direction. Don't get me wrong - there are plenty of reasons why parents need to continue working, not the least is financial, so I am not knocking what already exists.

But people who are thinking about having their first child would do well to consider what kind of upbringing they want for it first.

It's an easy mistake to think that baby will have to fit in with "our lifestyle" without considering that a new baby IS your lifestyle! I well remember the lady who cheerfully brought her baby to the badminton court. She was not going to let a baby change her life at all. This was fine for three months or so but it was not long before Badminton took second place.

And what's more, this carries on for the next 20 years or so until it begins to be independent. As they get older, the demands on your time change and increase in complexity. And at all ages, they all have an uncanny knack of getting your attention whenever they need something.

However, all new parents have to find these things out for themselves. We are so used to controlling our own lives that we truly cannot imagine BC (before children) how much children really control their parents! Parenthood is the biggest con of all really but survival of our species depends on this blissful ignorance 'cos I'm sure we'd never have children at all if we knew what it is REALLY like!

24th Jan 2005, 17:05
Once again not reading the post or not understanding the post!

What you are suggesting is NOT WHAT I wrote!....I praised the lady for doing well if you read it carefully; then read the rest !!

24th Jan 2005, 19:18
The problem with the "femalinists" nowadays is they don`t have ANY idea of what a family is,neither how a couple works .They don`t have ever heard about couple`s team sense.

They get married today because they are curious about.They dream with the party,dressing,flowers,etc. But they have no idea of what a marriage is. And this is the explanation for the numbers of divorces nowadays.(And you may realize almost all femalenists are divorced or alone).

Most of the married women I see today think about "mine" and "yours". Just a few think "ours".
My car,my bank account,my job,etc...

I never said women can`t work. They can and I support this idea.It`s financially better to the couple. If one loose the job, the other can support the expenses.Fine ,no problem at all.

What I`ve said is as long as you want to have a baby ,you have look after him.
To me ,looking the financial side is worst.We will have a reduced income.
But,to see my children growing up with my education and values and my wife`s has no price.
I`d rather have an older car.

Schools learns writing,cience ,math,etc.
Values is a parent`s duty.

Normally mothers look after children because they get lower salaries.It`s inteligent to keep the one who gets more working.
I think the mothers work is `wonderful.
Much more important to the children than mine.
We are a team.I go hunt money and she looks after the kids.

My girlfriend has completed the university,is flight attendent at a major airline and is intelligent enough to understand and agree with my point of view.
She is graduated...after a few years she can look for a part time while children are at school.

I also know there are people who don`t have a choice .They both really have to work.In this case....

But I can support a family and I think all the pilots still can.

Thanks God I`m writing behind a nickname otherwise I would have a femalenists comitee just below my window..

:ok: :ok:

Captain Sand Dune
24th Jan 2005, 23:44
Sounds like Germain Greer has found this website:} :}

25th Jan 2005, 14:43
I am glad you have such a nice girlfriend, that will work parttime to look after the children. Lukily (probably for all parts of the society) there are a lot of women who wants to work part time to take care of the family. But if family is teamwork, wouldn't it be fair that just as many men woriking parttime, to take care of the family, and women working full time?
I dream about making my living by being a pilot, because flying is what I love to do. And I have gotten my warnings, that being a gal, you can forget about being a suksessful pilot and have a familylife at the same time .
So, I will not make the statitics of happy married couples look better, probably I will never come to that point anyway. You can call me a feminist, or whatever you like. I just want the same opportunities as the boys, although they can be fulltime captains and still have a family.
But if they can't work part-time, forgetting about having a familylife is what it takes to be a woman pilot these days, and I will forget about that family, no doubt!!!

Stupid, young girl who also wants the piece of the cake.

25th Jan 2005, 15:12
When we join BA, we are ALL aware that for five years, we work where ever and on which ever fleet the company chooses. I do not see why this should not apply to part time work applications too. And I do not see why this is in any way discriminatory?

I do not know why the company did not just state this, rather than the apparent change to the minimum hours ruling for 50% part timers?

Captain Sand Dune
26th Jan 2005, 04:23

I wish you the best of luck in achieving your stated aims. For the record, I have no problem with women aviators. My point is that when children are bought into the equation, they (the children, that is) come first. Passing on the responsibility of raising a child to a nanny while both parents pursue careers is just not fair on the child. Note that word "responsibility".

children (what do we need them for anyway?)
So, I will not make the statitics of happy married couples look better, probably I will never come to that point anyway

Clearly you do not wish to have children. For that I am grateful. Do not think less of those who elect to put their children first.

A crusty 747 skipper once told me: "mate, anyone with a PPL can fly one of these things. We're looking for someone who won't drive us nuts on a 13 hour leg!" I'm sure BA aren't looking for Germain Greer with a CPL.

The ability to spell correctly and string a coherent sentence together may also help to impress your prospective employers.

26th Jan 2005, 11:07
M Ali:

If ALL women who were mothers went merrilly off to work inevitably leaving behind the children, there would be a big gap in the home life of those children and the father/husband.
Would you lack such independence to be able to support yourself at home as a father/husband?

Surely the basis of family life is teamwork - bet it has never crossed your mind to go part-time if you will/do have kids?

Much of the above appears to be all of us trying to act as the authority on child and family psychology, about which most of us can wholly admit that we know nothing. Perhaps rather than patronising conjecture on the place of the female, we could all be doing something to ensure that we don't result in a future divorces ourselves.

For a male-dominated industry, this thread really makes aviation appear stone age.

Now off to tell my girlfriend how pointless it is in her building her career...

PS, in this case I do not support the actions of the woman taking BA to tribunal - on the merits of what has been said, she needs to sort out her priorities

What Arkroyal mentioned a few thread back about family being a responsiblity and not a right is entirely correct - there needs be a line drawn somewhere to prevent a tide of PR crap.

The answer is always a balance.

26th Jan 2005, 15:21



26th Jan 2005, 15:27
My point is that when children are bought into the equation, they (the children, that is) come first.

I accept your point but.. Most people with young children will tell you that if you spend 24/7 looking after them your sanity will suffer. Sane parents are better parents.

26th Jan 2005, 17:15
Captain Sand Dune

I already know I'm in possession of great dyslectic powers, with no talent for writing at all, but thanks for your advice anyway.

I will try to make my poing short for you:
If more fathers out there where willing to share the responsibility in the domestic areas, the mothers should also just work and keep quiet.

But I guess earth would be a too quiet place if dinosaurs where no longer existing, and stupid young women could keep their mouths shut, and just smile.

26th Jan 2005, 18:04

The way it was taught to me many years ago was:

The Principle of the 6 Ps:


26th Jan 2005, 19:30
Forget 100%, 75%, 50% why not let her go for 0%.

She could look after her sprog for eight to ten years and then get her command.

26th Jan 2005, 20:32
>>I accept your point but.. Most people with young children will tell you that if you spend 24/7 looking after them your sanity will suffer. Sane parents are better parents.<<

I guess I am not 'Most people' then. My wife and I are presently looking after our two young (under three years) sprogs '24/7'.

I am thoroughly enjoying bringing my children up without the pressure of an airline roster. It is a most rewarding and, at times challenging, experience. Much more so, dare I say, than hanging around crew hotels with folk from work. The time goes very quickly and the treasured moments watching them develop are such happy ones. Also, it brings my wife and I closer together.

I am Big Brother, Nanny and State to my children.

Airline flying can pay you money and reward you professionally. However, for me, the most valuable commodity is time which is irreplaceable.

29th Jan 2005, 17:36
But I-FORD it is in her contract that she gets BA's approval for carrying out any buisness outside the airline.

Perhaps she should have got approval before...

29th Jan 2005, 23:13
Can you not choose family or career? Why should your employer always have to take on responsibility for your decisions? The pills been around for a long time as has abortion? Meanwhile over at Boeing..........
Race, ethnicity and gender count very much at Boeing. The aerospace giant recently spent $1.3 billion on race-based and gender-based programs. Neither Boeing nor the mainstream press have reported any expenditures whatsoever on programs for white U.S. citizens or Boeing employees or suppliers of Northern European descent.
Boeing is a huge aerospace and government and defense contractor with over $18 billion in contracts.

No fewer than three, huge federal agencies monitor Boeing's employment practices regarding selected minorities: the U.S. Department of Justice, the U.S. EEOC, and the U.S. Department of Labor. A virtual army of tax-supported lawyers and analysts comb through Boeing's personnel records to verify the total number of, and pay scales of, each of the following categories of employee:

Boeing's Preferred Employees and Suppliers:
Asian Pacific American
Subcontinental Asian American
Hispanic American
Native American
Female of any ethnicity


30th Jan 2005, 19:09
I heard she only has 1100 hours total. I'm starting to understand BA's position now!

Was she BA-sponsored?

31st Jan 2005, 22:39
Let's put this another way.

Premiership football club signs a new player. A year later his wife has a baby. Shortly after he says he wants to go part time - ie only play home matches.

Wonder what the reaction might be? Free transfer to Barnet?

But alas life is not that simple is it? The only people who are going to win out of this whole thing are the lawyers.

As a 200 hr fATPL I would give my right arm to be flying A320's at BA. I was about to sit the aptitude tests for the BA Cadet Scheme when 9/11 happened. If JS thinks she worked hard she should try getting a fATPL the way I have.

But I am also mature enough to understand her wishes to spend more time with her child, regardless of whether her decision to have children was a wise one or not.

What's gone before cannot be changed, it's the future that matters. As is too often the case people are unwilling to compromise I feel. A suitable deal perhaps could have been struck along the lines of "you can have 50% provided you make a compromise and move closer to LHR".

(edited for grammer & spelling)

1st Feb 2005, 17:27
All she has done is make it harder for other female Pilots coming in behind her...!!!

1st Feb 2005, 21:37
Trouble is, many modern women have been brought up to believe they can be / do anything they want. Whilst they are not pregnant, this is absolutely true.

Why then does it always seem to come as a big surprise when they realise they are ultimateley the ones to manufacture a baby?

Is this the "moment of truth" that makes some women realise that hey! women are not equal to men because men can bugger off and do whatever they want? At it's most basic level, do I detect a note of jealousy? Tell me I'm wrong!