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Bonds. Legal or not in UK Law?

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Bonds. Legal or not in UK Law?

Old 12th Apr 2001, 17:49
  #41 (permalink)  
Posts: n/a
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Hi FP, with groundschool, fixed base sim, sim hours, time in the air on said machine, line checks and other costs. Getting on for 20-25,000. A fair piece of dosh.

If the airline can get it all discounted it won't be less than 18,000 I would have thought. But I guess someone will pop with some definitive figures sooner or later.

The original 'investment' for your licence cannot, of course, ever be paid back. There is no such way. But you have to invest to get the dream!

The rewards will get better in my view. As the pilot shortage gets worse. My bet? The shortage will hit hardest in 2003. And then the dog eats dog syndrome will get well underway. Just as it did in 1985/6. Good luck mate!
Old 12th Apr 2001, 18:33
  #42 (permalink)  
Raw Data
Posts: n/a


>> Well we now know, just I said, they do. And in the very field RD didn't expect - as he used that example twice. <<

Actually, I did. However, as I also said, it is not widespread in IT- see my response to Flypuppy later.

>> Profitability is the ONLY reason people run airlines. There NO inbetween. No other way. <<

Sorry, incorrect. For example, SABENA. Many other state-run airlines are similarly unprofitable, but are maintained for reasons of national prestige or simply necessity.

>> But it is incumbent on the airline to ensure that they treat pilots with respect - and even reverence. >>

Please elucidate which airlines do that!

>> if the distance is greater than 15 miles and the employee does not want to go he can claim redundancy. If he is also bonded the company cannot include that in the package. <<

Nice idea, but seldom works in practice. I remember when I left Loganair, they tried to chase me for the cost of re-training on the 360 (I had been flying the J31 for a couple of years). Despite the fact that they had moved my base 40 miles, and I had not signed any sort of agreement regarding the re-training, the chased me for their "costs". In the end, they got it by witholding holiday pay and other monies due to me. I chased them via a tribunal, however the costs to me were going to be higher than the sum I was chasing, so I had to reluctantly let it go. Unfortunately, this sort of behaviour is not uncommon. They had no legal right to behave as they did, they just did it anyway and relied on the difficulty of retrieving the sum to protect them. I know you like to think that employers are always honest and are basically hard-done-by, but it just ain't true.

>> . I know RD quite well, I know his company quite well, I know the CEO quite well, I knew the previous boss quite well and I knew Jack Walker quite well. Does that answer your question? <<


>> So, I wonder why you took the point about BA. BA wouldn't have a problem with pilots bonding would they. They are the very company that pilots left most us smaller airlines in the lurch for!! <<

Because you said "airlines" (implying all airlines), and I simply showed you an airline that did not do as you suggested. Just keeping the argument tight.

>> As I said the 3 services was stretching it a bit far, but the principal is still the same. <<

No it isn't, for the reasons stated (ie no profit motive).

>> But it makes no difference they did suffer severely as a result of NOT getting the bond under way. <<

They DID suffer, but it wasn't not bondng that pushed them over the edge (as you imply).

>> I am getting the point about a bonded bank loan. But I then to have to ask. WHY did you accept it? As I said to tilli, did they have shotguns at the ready? Were you so desperate for a job that you let the company nail your backside to the wall? Did you get advice? Does it affect your work performance? Shall I go on RD? Very unsatisfactory indeed. <<

Not at all. I accepted it, because when I joined the company on the F27, I was already type-rated and therefore not bonded. When I moved to the jet (my fleet was being retired if you remember), I was bonded for 3 years/18K. I seem to recall you don't agree with this form of bonding! I agreed because if I hadn't, I would have had to have changed employers, and may well have had to accept unemployment (with no unemployment benefits) for some considerable time. So you can see, the company did actually hold a gun to my head- sign this, or leave, is what it effectively came down to. I did test the market for alternatives prior to signing, however at that point there wasn't a lot about. Also, I have no intention of leaving at this point in my career, so the question doesn't arise- very happy with the company as it happens.

>> So how do you plan for of dishonest pilots using an airline to get their licences and then leaving them having "taken" up to 25,000 out of the company's bank account? <<

Frankly, the true cost of the training is not likely to be what most companies bond for.

>> . Like I said we are what we are. The fact that you chose to work in this environment means that you choose, or not, to accept it. Whingeing about it will not alter it. We do some daft things in this country, but doesn't every country do that? <<

You are saying that just because we are British, we can do what we want and that is OK, because, after all, we are BRITISH. I am saying that there are much, much better ways to do things, and they should be adopted because they are RIGHT, not because they are British, or American, or whatever.

>> One reason for this is that there is a deep underlying mistrust of each other. Now how would you see that being cured? Tell you what RD. You'll never see it in your lifetime and neither will the current generation of young pilots. <<

That is only true, and I say this with the greatest of respect, if we cling to outdated managment practices. Several companies have shown that co-operation can work, for example Southwest Airlines (in the early days), and outside the airlines, companies like Sun Microsystems, or Nissan in Sunderland. There are many, many others I could choose from, and most have been turned around by having a CEO with the courage and vision to try a new path. Thats all it needs. Valuing employees, and respecting them, is quite common outside the airline industry, but very uncommon inside it.

>> No sticks RD. Not once, but plenty of respect for them is what I gave, and what is need now. <<

What you did, and what other airlines do, are not the same thing (which is the point of the thread). No matter how you slice it, the bond is a stick.


It isn't clear from your post whether you actually bond folk for the costs, or just have a clause preventing them from leaving, or going to another, similar, employer. If the latter, it isn't even close to the same thing that we are talking about.

If you do bond them for the monetary value of their training, a 6-12 month bond is inconsequential- it is the three year bonds that most people dislike, and that is the real issue here- the length of the bond.
Old 12th Apr 2001, 18:43
  #43 (permalink)  
Raw Data
Posts: n/a
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just a quickie...

>> Hi FP, with groundschool, fixed base sim, sim hours, time in the air on said machine, line checks and other costs. Getting on for 20-25,000. A fair piece of dosh.
If the airline can get it all discounted it won't be less than 18,000 I would have thought. But I guess someone will pop with some definitive figures sooner or later. <<

And this just illustrates another unfairness in the system. I remember a previous employer I worked for, who introduced some fine BAe types (ATP, J31, J41). We all went off to PIK for our courses, and naturally we were all bonded for them. However, I was later told (by the head of the training school at PIK) that all the initial courses had in fact been provided free as part of the purhase/lease package- no an uncommon practice.

The upshot- those who left early and paid their bonds (or had them paid for by other airlines), were paying for training that the company had itself never paid for! Surely this is fraudulent, and another example of how cynical employers can be.

[Edited for typo]

[This message has been edited by Raw Data (edited 12 April 2001).]
Old 12th Apr 2001, 20:17
  #44 (permalink)  
Posts: n/a


Just another quickie:

I once worked for BAe at Hatfield. Fact is, the training of a specified number of crews on the type is not just "not uncommon", it is standard practice with most aircraft manufacturers. When BAe was selling the 146, I seem to recall that the deal was that the price included training 10 pilots for each airframe sold.

Naturally, there will be those who will argue that this was not 'free' training because the airline paid for the airframes. But how would one go about quantifying the true cost of such training for bond enforcement purposes in a court of law? Problematic, to say the least.


Why take offence at me offering a perspective in response to your several examples of the paltry sums charged for IT training?

"Please don't lecture me on what it costs to become a pilot." Since I expended an equivalent sum (as well as the emotional investment to which you quite rightly refer) many moons ago I surely have the right to talk about that expenditure.

As to fulfilling childhood dreams, I actually fulfilled that one at the age of 19. What on earth possesses you to: leave your present (presumably worthwhile) career in IT management, remortgage your home, and abandon your family for 9 months to become an airline pilot? As InFin has so rightly said, you are never likely to see a return on that investment, particularly when compared with the earnings of an IT Manager. I wonder what your family think of this move?

[This message has been edited by tilii (edited 12 April 2001).]
Old 12th Apr 2001, 20:19
  #45 (permalink)  
Posts: n/a

According to the Flight Safety guys and girls, JY also got the free training on the DHC-8's as well. Pity I'm still bonded.

Just another thought to add to this debate, with the introduction of JAR-OPS it is now a requirement to be MCC'ed (Multi-crew Rated), Does anyone agree that this course should be bonded? (4000 at JY)

Old 12th Apr 2001, 21:06
  #46 (permalink)  
Posts: n/a

RD, had to come back on that. Wasn't going to make anymore on this but I absolutely agree with you in regard to being bonded on free training. What costs there were to the airline were minimal, and it grieves me that some airline management have such thick skins, that they cannot think about the damage they do.

There is one such person who is currently at the top of his airline (the airline he WORKS for!) and he insults his pilots and staff regularly with pathetic attempts to impress them. Like a bottle of champers! A cake at Christmas. What amazes me is that if he realised this it would make no difference. He is a prat that the owner loves - because he is ruthless. And inevitably lines his pockets too. In return this idiot gets nearly 400k a year and inummerable shares in the company. But HE gives the business a bad name.

That style of management has NO place in aviation but there is nothing anyone can do about it. A mass walk out might help but that will never happen either.

Your point on fraud, sounds valid but it probably isn't. I would never have done that. Amazing!

Old 13th Apr 2001, 00:32
  #47 (permalink)  
Posts: n/a


Sorry to read that you aren't going to "make anymore on this". Guess this means you don't "choose" (as you said in your rather snooty, castigating post to me) to answer the questions I asked.

Ah well, InFin, I suppose your last post to RD would not fit within your definition of "snide"? The chap you describe might take issue with you on that one. And what on earth is wrong with champers and cake, then?

With respect, there are many styles of management that have no place in aviation, and most of those have been discussed on this thread, a thread I have thoroughly enjoyed - up to the point where you became the self-appointed thought policeman.

As to your remark to RD about fraud, the practice he describes is scurrilous, immoral even, but (rather like bonding) it is not unlawful. Neither is it amazing.

Old 13th Apr 2001, 01:08
  #48 (permalink)  
Raw Data
Posts: n/a

Yes, OK I didn't really mean fraudulent in the legal, exact sense... more of the moral sense.

Speaking of Law, I would have thought that this from InFin-

>> I mentioned in my last post that since BM won a case in the High Court, the law on bonding is enforceable. It is NOW law, check on it yourself. Is your library open tomorrow?<<

- is incorrect. Surely what BM have done is set a precedent, not changed the Law. Different thing, n'est pas?
Old 13th Apr 2001, 04:09
  #49 (permalink)  
Posts: n/a

Tilli – a remark must be interpreted in the light of the intended audience. I doubt that the majority of Pprune folk will have been lead down the dry and dusty road of statutory interpretation by my admittedly lax use of a professional phrase! My comment has a serious intent, for I too in the dim and distant past was the subject of such an bonding agreement.
I can see nothing in the HRA that might have a bearing on the bonding issue but am of course open to persuasive argument. Over to you.
FNG – restraint of trade has been the traditional defence employed in bonding situations, with a notable lack of success, although the cases of which I am aware pre-date the Bosman EU ruling to which you refer. I concur with your assessment of the chances of utilising this and similar judgements in situations to which this thread refers.
Old 13th Apr 2001, 04:40
  #50 (permalink)  
Posts: n/a


Contract law is case driven, that is to say that it is almost entirely based upon precedent. Thus, if what InFin stated with regard to BM is fact, it seems probable that it has established law (since InFin implies that it was the first case on the subject of bonding). I would be grateful if anyone here is able to cite the case in question. I have not found a BM case of any significance with respect to bonding in High Court cases, only in the Industrial Court.

On a more positive note, you are right in another respect in that precedent in the cases does not set the law in concrete. Change should, and does, occur as has been pointed to by FNG. And different facts in any particular case allow room for manoeuvre in legal argument.

Despite precedent already set, I remain optimistic that, in the fullness of time, the practice of bonding pilots in the tens of thousands of pounds over several years will eventually be held to be unlawful. This will probably not happen in the High Court but in a meritorious case appealed all the way to the Court of Appeal and/or the House of Lords.

By the way, RD, I have enjoyed the spirit and the content of your arguments. Very well done indeed.

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