Female cabin crew member wins discrimination case

Female cabin crew member wins discrimination case

A new mother and cabin crew member has won a legal claim for sexual discrimination.

Emma Seville made her legal claim at Birmingham Employment Tribunal against the Flybe airline of Exeter.

A new mother to a baby boy, Seville requested Flybe to allow her to work flexible hours so she could have more time looking after her child – Express & Echo report.

She complained the present arrangements placed women cabin crew members at a disadvantage compared with male cabin crew members – prompting the sexual discrimination claim.

Seville told the tribunal she had problems engaging nurseries to look after her baby because of the unusual working hours, but Flybe had rejected the request as it could “cause problems”.

After a three day hearing tribunal judge Lynne Findlay said Seville's sex discrimination claim had been successful but that her flexible working hours claim had failed.

The hearing was then briefly adjourned to allow the respondents and Christopher Edwards, Ms Seville's legal representative, to discuss an award for sexual discrimination.

When the hearing was resumed Mr Edwards said both parties were hoping to reach an agreement within six weeks.

Comments (2)

  • Jackie
    Mon, 12 Sep 2016 12:14pm BST
    The courts recognise women are more likely to have the double burden of childcare and paid work so that is why mostly such cases are brought by women. However as a society we don't seem willing to tackle inequality in domestic arrangements and almost retain a male breadwinner model. So women add paid work to their domestic work and employers deal with it, but the male role hardly gets disturbed. Strange blindspot.
  • Greg Turner
    Greg Turner
    Wed, 7 Sep 2016 2:30pm BST
    Interesting case that highlights the inbuilt discrimination against 'fathers' more than it does discrimination against 'women'.

    In order for the sexual discrimination part to be valid you would have to show that you were at more of a disadvantage because you're a woman than if you were a man. The tribunal found that because the vast majority of the women who worked as cabin crew were of child bearing age, they were more likely to be impacted by decisions around flexible working and thus the case for sexual discrimination could be up held.

    But this only holds true if we are more likely to see mothers as the care gives than fathers. That is the only way you can claim that being a woman/mother puts you at a disadvantage to your male counterparts since your male counterparts are just as likely to experience the challenges of having to juggle child care as women/mothers are.

    It's interesting that we still have a system that fails to recognise the in built biases and prejudices against men, while being so quick to point out those against women.

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