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

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

Old 6th Feb 2005, 18:08
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Bigots?

bigot

Oxford English Dictionary definition:

Noun - a person who is prejudiced in their views and intolerant of the opinions of others.

PPRuNe definition (pop. usage):
(1) Noun - a person who disagrees with my views, and is obviously prejudiced or they would agree with me.
(2) Noun - a person who disagrees with my views, and obviously doesn't understand or they would see I'm right.

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Old 6th Feb 2005, 18:51
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What if she had a passion for a job, but it was all or nothing because of corporate policy which in this case is backed by the small minded selfish majority?
Then perhaps she should have chosen a career that had 'normal' hours of work and fitted in with spending time whith her children?

I think its a case of its kids or flying but not both, maybe she could get a job with a small commuter airline that had more of a 9 till 5 roster?

Why not take a break from flying for 5 years or so to spend time with the child before returning to work after its at school.

Life is all about choices. If she doesnt like BA's policy then leave, she should have asked the questions at the interview
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Old 6th Feb 2005, 19:13
  #263 (permalink)  

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Heliport,

True indeed, my old chum.

In the context of this case, however, I cannot think of a more apt definition than that of the 17th Century Poet, William Drummond:
He that will not reason is a bigot; he that cannot reason is a fool; and he that dares not reason is a slave.


BH
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Old 6th Feb 2005, 20:35
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overstress...

Just curious, but on what grounds exactly do you support her?

I may be wrong, but my assumption is that she knew the rules when she gained a sponsorship with BA (which many, many others would have been happy to accept) - and so I don't really understand why either you or she think that the rules should be changed to suit her. The fact that other airlines may accept 50% working is surely immaterial, if she chose to work for one which did not...

But guys - knocking all women pilots is juvenille and unwarrented. I know several who have made it as professional pilots and are as good at the job as their male counterparts - and who would not even consider doing as this lady has done. So please, don't tar all with the same brush, as it is not only unfair on the majority, but also reduces what could be a good case to one of blatent sexual descrimination.

And whatever her friends may say, I still think that chosing to work for an airline who does not offer the working practices she desires, and being selected above many others who would love to be in her shoes - yet then trying to sue them for not changing their rules to suit her, is taking the piss!

She had several options, which she chose to ignore:

Work for another airline
Not get pregnant
Put up and shut up
Do the required length of service to enable her to work 50%
Go for a profession that would allow her to do as she likes
Let her husband go for the cut in hours instead

But what did she do instead? Accept a job that many others would have loved - and then in effect stick two fingers up at both them and her employer by trying to change the system to suit her!

Is it any wonder that the MCP idiots are now saying that it's a mistake to employ women at all??? If a man had done the same, the case would be laughed out of court! As a woman, I firmly believe that equality is our right - but that positive descrimination is not only a bad thing, but is damaging as well.
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Old 6th Feb 2005, 21:22
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discrimination

It is reasonable for a parent to want to be facilitated in caring for h/er child.
It is reasonable for BA to want to maintain its rosters.
This is a clash of rights.
European Union Law recognises the right of a parent in these circumstances to be reasonably facilitated.
The welfare of children includes parental care.
The law "discriminates" against administrative convenience in favour of parental duty / desire!!
Those who plead the "cake and eat it" cliche should research the Luddite philosophy and then the Suffragettes Movement. They entered this dissertation and so are literate but in need of enlightenment.
What if the request had been made by the father?
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Old 6th Feb 2005, 21:45
  #266 (permalink)  

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If the request had been made by the father, then it would have been granted, as he had worked the prequisite amount of time. Therfore, if this was purely a childcare issue, then surely the father would have taken the cut in hours, safe in the knowledge that it was his right, and he would then be free to look after the child???
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Old 7th Feb 2005, 01:14
  #267 (permalink)  

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Girl Flyday:

I am guessing you are female . I don't have to have 'grounds' to support her, but as you asked, it's because I am an employee of the same company, on the same fleet, I am currently part-time myself (I am a bloke) and I went part-time (PTWK) on childcare grounds (pauses for incoming wave of flaming from guys in the USA with antiquated attitudes to labour of the work kind not the pregnancy).

When I was granted PTWK I was at a regional base and the ONLY option available was 50%. When I was transferred to LHR due to base closure, I remained at this status initially. I expect that soon I will be reverting to full-time, and the company's generous policy has been a tremendous help to my family situation.

Now when Jessica wanted to vary PTWK down to 50% herself, the company was in the position of being very short-staffed on the fleet due to its own policies; they had not recruited enough, basically, and they hurriedly came up with a rule that all those with fewer than 2000hrs could not be 50%. This was done AFTER she had applied for 50% and smacks of stable doors closing.

BALPA fought the tribunal not only on behalf of Jessica, but for all emplyees, especially female, to have the flexibility of working open to them. As an aside, they hit back at BA management with the argument that managers were not subject to such restrictions yet they are effectively part-time fliers themeselves, yet always appear when the England Footie team need flying somewhere.

I am heartily sick of reading that airline flying is incompatible with part-time working. This is manifestly not true as many UK airlines who have part-timers on their books will testify.

I am supporting Jessica against the prejudices of those who cannot or will not understand that as employees, we should be striving to make our working conditions better, not returning to some dark-age view of serfdom where we are paid in company vouchers.

To clarify, Jessica is not advocating a change in the rules to suit her as the rules were changed AFTER she applied. With that fact at your fingertips, I'm sure you will realise that most of your last but one post is irrelevant. You are missing the point in a huge way and are therefore damaging the female pilot cause.

The individual concerned is highly motivated towards her employer. Can you not see that she and BALPA are attempting to IMPROVE the cause for women pilots?


PS: Girl Flyday: how do you know that the father isn't part-time already?
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Old 7th Feb 2005, 08:21
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BA's subsidiary, BA Citiexpress, allows mothers to return to work on a 50% roster if they choose. BA are very quick to claim the same personnel rules apply to their subsidiary when it suits them and equally quick to disassociate themselves when it does not.

As observed elsewhere, the part-time roster is not a 'shirkers charter'. The part-time pilots do not seem to be rostered standbys and consequently often work at 70% - 90% of a full roster for half the pay.
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Old 7th Feb 2005, 11:48
  #269 (permalink)  
 
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Question

If anyone knows Jessica, perhaps they would invite her to make a comment? This thread is wafting in all directions.
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Old 7th Feb 2005, 11:58
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I would imagine she couldn't even if she wanted to as the case is probably still sub judice.
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Old 7th Feb 2005, 13:07
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I am a female pilot working for BA and I don't support Jessica. I started quite a few months after her but already have over 50% more hours. BA have paid tens of thousands of pounds for her training and I don't think it is unreasonable to expect some commitment back. I'm not saying that women should choose between their career and family(unlike some of the chauvinists on this forum). What I'm saying is that if you choose to go into an industry such as ours - especially one so male dominated - then you need to make a concious decision to commit yourself to it for a while. I know that when I've had a couple of weeks leave and I go back to work that I am distinctly slower than before my leave. I can't believe that after only having flown 1000 hours in the space of 4 years that Jessica feels herself experienced enough to deal with this feeling every month.

As a part time worker on the fleet she is already able to choose the cream of the trips and manipulate her roster, and her lifestyle, to a much greater extent than her colleagues with the same seniority on full time. It seems strange that she can't work day trips most of the month therefore being able to spend a vast amount more time with her daughter, but of course living in Dorset she won't want to drive the round trip every day. To me this is a case of wanting your cake and eating it. You have to make some decisions and I think taking BA to a tribunal when there are other things she could do to improve her life is taking the mickey slightly.

Although I don't support Jessica in this instance I wouldn't hesitate to support other female pilots with a lot more hours and therefore experience. There is no reason why females can't do this job and have a family. Some of the comments on this thread are beyond belief in this day and age and I'm not sure how some comments can be argued when there are plenty of men flying part time as well. I do my job as well as the blokes and although I've always realised that I was going to face sexism of sorts from some people I didn't quite realise how many people really don't believe a female should be allowed on the flight deck till I read this thread.

Girl Flyday - I wholeheartedly agree with your comments. All we want is equality, positive discrimination does our cause no end of damage.
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Old 7th Feb 2005, 13:24
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a) Can an employee DEMAND part-time working from their employer?

I don't have intimate knowledge of the law in this respect but I don't think they can. (Exception being returning to work immediately after childbirth?)

b) Does BA have the resources to offer PTW to anyone who wants it?

At the moment, on the pilot's side, I don't think they do. It would be a good thing to aim at for the future but is not practical in the present.

c) How do they decide, given that there are more applications than places, who gets PTW?

With difficulty, I imagine. How do you decide 'merit' in individual cases? Maybe they have a 'points system', i.e. 1 child = 1 pt, 2 children = 2, single parent = 2.5, ethnic minority = 1.5, old grandmother = 0.75, round-the-world cruise = 0.25, etc.

d) What are the implications inherent in a win for the plaintiff in the current tribunal?

The first thing that comes to mind is that PTW for males will be effectively unavailable as all the 'slots' will be taken by females. The second is that BA will probably stop actively recruiting women and just advertise for 'pilots'.

e) How is PTW handled in other departments in the Company?

Cabin crew, who now consist of something like 60-70% part-timers, put their names down on a list. When they get to the top, they are offered PTW on a take-it-or-leave-it basis. No 'value judgements' required.
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Old 7th Feb 2005, 14:53
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Under current legislation, any employer must consider an employees request for part time working and can only refuse in certain circumstances - business needs is usually the one quoted by companies when refusing.

In this instance I'm quite sure that Jessica has a valid claim for part time working, but not sexual discrimination which is what the hearing is all about.
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Old 7th Feb 2005, 15:56
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Having just come to this thread with 20 pages I really haven't time to read everything so apologies if this has been posted before and I've missed it.

Yes a rumour, but I heard that females account for 5% of pilots within BA yet account for 50% of part time pilots. There are many male pilots who wish for part time working (some to look after children too) so in a way this case stinks as Jessica falls into the groups that has benefitted due gender (perhaps unintentionally though), not been discriminated against.

I know this has been mentioned above but on the Airbus in BA there appears very little support for this 'sex discrimination' case whilst many do support her wish for more part time but only in a fair way, see Fullwings posting just above this one about the CC part time list.
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Old 7th Feb 2005, 16:30
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people whose only experience of being on an airliner is chomping nuts, drinking Bacardi and Pepsi Max and working out cunning, new strategies for how to be the first person through the aircraft door when it lands.
That'll be the people who mean you have a job then? Maybe we should not fly so much, see how some of you enjoy the dole queue.

Arrogant
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Old 7th Feb 2005, 17:10
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eal401
That'll be the people who mean you have a job then?
Yes that's them. Then again, just because I pay for private health insurance, it doesn't give me the right to tell the surgeon where to stick his scalpel when he's operating on my wife does it?

I'm not going to waste the moderators' valuable time or Danny's bandwidth by turning this into a flame war. Feel free to PM me and I'll be more than happy to set you straight off the record. . . .

BH
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Old 7th Feb 2005, 17:14
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Then again, just because I pay for private health insurance, it doesn't give me the right to tell the surgeon where to stick his scalpel when he's operating on my wife does it?
Oooh! Touche!

Say what you like about Big Hilly - he's come up with some corking threads!

Anyone know when the verdict is expected?

Cheers,

G
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Old 7th Feb 2005, 19:39
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Quick answer, but it's not really a true analogy. Nobody's presuming to tell pilots how they should fly the aircraft.

You don't need to be on the Airbus fleet, to work for BA, or even be a pilot at all to express a valid opinion on the points of principle in this discussion.
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Old 7th Feb 2005, 19:48
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Girl999
Very sensible comments in my opinion. Your point about being abit slower after you have had some time off is highly relevant and of course gender irrelevant
As SLF and a (very) frequent flyer on BA, I know a number of us pax are following this case, purely froman operational safety point of view.
Looking forward to travelling on oneof your flights..
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Old 7th Feb 2005, 20:14
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Flying Lawyer,

As usual, we'll have to agree to differ; all I'll say is that I wouldn't presume to pass judgement on say, how your Head of Chambers chooses to run your set of chambers simply because Iíve watched a couple of episodes of Rumpole of The Bailey. . . .

Regards, as always, "My Old Darling",

BH
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