BA tribunal visits on the up as more employees take company to task

The number of employment tribunal claims filed against BA has risen for the second consecutive year.

During 2007-08, the airline was served with 69 new tribunal claims, up from 45 the previous year and 39 in 2005-06, according to figures revealed in its annual report. Eight claims were multi-applicant proceedings with more than one claimant and three of those involved more than 100 employees.

Thirty of the claims were for discrimination, or discrimination plus other claims. Of these, 17 remain ongoing, three were settled and the other 10 were withdrawn, won by BA or struck out by the tribunal. The company said, for the first time, discrimination claims outweighed the number of unfair dismissal claims.

The most high-profile of these was check-in clerk Nadia Eweida who claimed religious discrimination after she was suspended for refusing to conceal a small crucifix on a necklace. BA successfully defended the case in January this year.

BA insisted that, set against the size of the company’s 42,000-strong workforce, the headline tribunal figure was low.

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