Go Back  PPRuNe Forums > Flight Deck Forums > Rumours & News
Reload this Page >

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

Rumours & News Reporting Points that may affect our jobs or lives as professional pilots. Also, items that may be of interest to professional pilots.

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

Old 13th Jan 2005, 16:21
  #141 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: England
Posts: 297
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Well Said

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,

Tartan Giant is offline  
Old 13th Jan 2005, 20:06
  #142 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 2001
Location: uk
Posts: 8
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
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!
girlsblouse is offline  
Old 13th Jan 2005, 20:18
  #143 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 2000
Location: Camp X-Ray
Posts: 2,135
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Yeah 'cos they can't get pregnant. Great idea!
Hand Solo is offline  
Old 13th Jan 2005, 20:59
  #144 (permalink)  

So close, and yet so far!
Join Date: Sep 1998
Location: Uk
Posts: 105
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
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!)

Last edited by Girl Flyday; 13th Jan 2005 at 22:52.
Girl Flyday is offline  
Old 13th Jan 2005, 21:55
  #145 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: British Isles
Posts: 215
Likes: 0
Received 2 Likes on 1 Post

>>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,

Spartacan is offline  
Old 13th Jan 2005, 22:25
  #146 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: NY
Posts: 198
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Well stated Girl Flyday!

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 !!
MercenaryAli is offline  
Old 14th Jan 2005, 09:23
  #147 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 378
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
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?
woodpecker is offline  
Old 14th Jan 2005, 10:04
  #148 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: UK
Posts: 31
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
woodpecker where did you get the numbers for sickness in BA?
Lenny is offline  
Old 14th Jan 2005, 13:03
  #149 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: The Sunny South
Posts: 66
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
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 ?
Volmet South is offline  
Old 14th Jan 2005, 13:45
  #150 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Abroad
Posts: 520
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Volmet South You are forgetting we are talking about BlairsīBritain here......I have to agree with Flying Lawyer , in that I wouldnīt be surprised if she wins this. Who will end up paying for it in the end?
maxy101 is offline  
Old 14th Jan 2005, 15:01
  #151 (permalink)  

Cool as a moosp
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Mostly Hong Kong
Posts: 802
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
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.
moosp is offline  
Old 14th Jan 2005, 15:53
  #152 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: UK
Posts: 955
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
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
RVR800 is offline  
Old 14th Jan 2005, 16:50
  #153 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: The Sunny South
Posts: 66
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
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
Volmet South is offline  
Old 14th Jan 2005, 18:23
  #154 (permalink)  

Peoples' Champion!
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: UK
Posts: 248
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
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. . . .


Big Hilly is offline  
Old 14th Jan 2005, 20:03
  #155 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: British Isles
Posts: 215
Likes: 0
Received 2 Likes on 1 Post
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?
Spartacan is offline  
Old 14th Jan 2005, 20:06
  #156 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: NY
Posts: 198
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Back to the future . . . .

. . .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.
MercenaryAli is offline  
Old 14th Jan 2005, 20:55
  #157 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: New York City
Posts: 820
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts

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?
Bronx is offline  
Old 14th Jan 2005, 21:37
  #158 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: derbyshire
Posts: 53
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
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.
sillymoo is offline  
Old 14th Jan 2005, 23:12
  #159 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: UK
Posts: 25
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
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 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.)
Decisive Attitude is offline  
Old 14th Jan 2005, 23:15
  #160 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: 'An Airfield Somewhere in England'
Posts: 1,094
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
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.
Norman Stanley Fletcher is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

Copyright © 2024 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.