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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 10th Jan 2005, 16:51
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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.

PPP=PPP
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Old 10th Jan 2005, 16:54
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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?
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Old 10th Jan 2005, 17:44
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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.
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Old 10th Jan 2005, 17:52
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Angry

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.
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Old 10th Jan 2005, 17:55
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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!
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Old 10th Jan 2005, 18:01
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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)
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Old 10th Jan 2005, 18:31
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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.
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Old 10th Jan 2005, 18:39
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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.

BTSM
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Old 10th Jan 2005, 19:08
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Before or After

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
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Old 10th Jan 2005, 19:11
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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!!!!
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Old 10th Jan 2005, 19:19
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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 youíll find that the NHS (as you mentioned trainee doctors) do, actually, bend over backwards to accommodate health-professionals who wish to work part time.

BH
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Old 10th Jan 2005, 19:38
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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.
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Old 10th Jan 2005, 19:41
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Angry

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
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Old 10th Jan 2005, 20:02
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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.
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Old 10th Jan 2005, 20:14
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Good Luck, BA!!!
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Old 10th Jan 2005, 20:21
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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.
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Old 10th Jan 2005, 20:31
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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....
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Old 10th Jan 2005, 21:53
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as posted

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.
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Old 10th Jan 2005, 22:07
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Exclamation economics -v- ideals

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]

Last edited by 767bill; 11th Jan 2005 at 12:22.
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Old 10th Jan 2005, 22:17
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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.
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