An airline pilot has accused British Airways of sex discrimination following their refusal of her request to work part-time hours following the birth of her daughter. Jessica Starmer requested to work on a 50% basis in order to fulfil her childcare responsibilities, however was refused due to a company rule preventing junior pilots from working less than 75% of normal working hours.
The rule affects both male and female pilots who have flown less than 2,000 hours with BA. At the time of the request Ms Starmer had flown 1,100 hours with BA and even working on a full-time basis, would not reach the 2,000 hour threshold for another 18 months. Her case is based on a claim that this amounts to indirect sex discrimination as female pilots are more likely to need to work part-time than their male colleagues.