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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 11th Jan 2005, 12:03
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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?
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Old 11th Jan 2005, 12:44
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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.
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Old 11th Jan 2005, 12:55
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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....
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Old 11th Jan 2005, 13:03
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I'd be interested to know if she has the option to take unpaid leave for a year?
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Old 11th Jan 2005, 13:24
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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.
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Old 11th Jan 2005, 13:40
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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?!
 
Old 11th Jan 2005, 14:08
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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.
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Old 11th Jan 2005, 14:17
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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.
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Old 11th Jan 2005, 14:24
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What Irony! Claiming sexual discrimination that, if the case were successful, would actually be guilty of sexual discrimination.

[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.

Cheers,

LP
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Old 11th Jan 2005, 14:25
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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.
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Old 11th Jan 2005, 15:15
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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.
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Old 11th Jan 2005, 16:21
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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.
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Old 11th Jan 2005, 17:35
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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?
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Old 11th Jan 2005, 17:36
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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.
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Old 11th Jan 2005, 17:40
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How is having a child not a life choice???
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Old 11th Jan 2005, 19:13
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.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.

FS
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Old 11th Jan 2005, 19:25
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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!
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Old 11th Jan 2005, 19:44
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flystudent
Who 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.
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Old 11th Jan 2005, 19:44
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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.

Jordan
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Old 11th Jan 2005, 21:12
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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!
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