22/04/2005

Female pilot wins discrimination case against BA

A female British Airways pilot who wanted to reduce her working hours to spend more time with her young daughter has won a discrimination case against the airline.

Twenty-six-year-old Jessica Starmer, from Wareham, Dorset had asked British Airways if she could work 50% of the time in order to look after her one-year-old daughter Beth, but the request was denied.

British Airways has stated that it would appeal the ruling. A British Airways spokesperson was reported as saying that the case was a health and safety issue, stating that British Airways required its pilots to have around three years of full time flying experience before working hours could be reduced. The spokesperson said that Ms Starmer had not completed the required flying experience.

Ms Starmer, whose husband is also a pilot, told reporters that she was “delighted” at the decision and said her request for flexible working was “reasonable and justified”. She said: “All I wanted was to make sure my daughter was cared for properly while continuing in a career into which both my employer and I have invested lots of time and money.”

The British Airline Pilots Association also welcomed the decision. General Secretary Jim McAuslan said that he hoped the decision would encourage other airlines to introduce better part-time and flexible working arrangements.

(KMcA/GB)


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