Airline employee wins sex discrimination case after flexible working request refused

Our thanks to Chloe for this. The start of the piece:

Managers wouldn’t negotiate her hours because of “detrimental effect on the business”; case could force all airlines to review how they allocate shifts, say legal experts.

An airline employee whose requests for flexible hours were rejected when she returned from maternity leave has won a sex discrimination case against her employers.

Emma Seville, who worked for Flybe airline as cabin crew for 13 years, worked full time on a flexible rota – meaning she could work any 22 days in a month – before going on maternity leave. But after having her son, she asked to return to work on a fixed, pre-arranged rota of 11 days a month.

Another excerpt:

Flybe said Seville’s request for flexible hours had been fully considered, but that it could cause problems. The company also added that it had a fixed rota system in place and shifts could be swapped.

Seville won her legal claim for sex discrimination, but lost the claim for flexible working hours. [My emphasis.] Tribunal judge Lynne Findlay said cabin-crew work was dominated by women mainly of child-bearing age, and added: “This placed women at a disadvantage compared with men.”

The end of the piece:

Matthew Potter, partner at Birketts law firm, said: “All employers should be alert to the need to take into account individual childcare responsibilities when seeking to impose a requirement on employees to work a particular shift pattern and carefully consider whether requests such as the one in this case can be accommodated, however inconvenient it may be for the business.”

When will the business sector start campaigning against such idiocy? The sector’s craven capitulation to such matters – and ‘women on boards’ – over many years has been shameful.

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