BALPA condemns easyJet for using sickness as key component in redundancies

BALPA has condemned easyJet for using ‘sickness’ as a key component in choosing who loses their job.

The union says the proposals are completely unacceptable in a safety-critical industry where pilots are legally required not to go to work if they are unfit to do so. It said retrospectively punishing pilots for being sick or unfit to fly is outrageous and could significantly harm easyJet’s previously successful and well-regarded flight safety culture.

BALPA general secretary Brian Strutton said: “Flight safety is built on a culture of openness and not fear of repercussions. This is a well understood and fundamental tenet for everyone involved in ensuring our skies are safe.

“It is unnecessary and wrong that easyJet is intending to use sickness as a stick to beat its safety-critical staff. easyJet has in the past rightly encouraged pilots to report in sick or fatigued if they are unfit to fly – that is in everyone’s best interest. Now to turn around and say that doing the right thing means you may lose your job could have a chilling effect on the safety culture in easyJet from now on.

“Not only that, but the time frame easyJet intend to use includes the early coronavirus period when some people were getting sick or having to shield themselves and their families. Should these people be punished by losing their jobs too?

“We have yet to see any justification for the scale of job losses that easyJet has proposed. We will continue to fight for every job and will resist any move to use the Covid crisis to undermine easyJet’s reputation as a decent employer.”

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