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Hi there Nikki. Please can you tell me what you are ideally hoping for given the circumstances so that I can advise you?
Can I just check if your contract says anything about how your sick pay is calculated or does it just refer to full pay and half pay?
Thank you. There is a case on this matter which looked at the pay BA pilots received for their holidays and whether it should only be basic pay or include flight allowances that flight crew usually get.
The Court of Appeal decided that BA is entitled to pay them only basic pay when they take their holidays. They did however refer this to the European Court of Justice which came back with a decision that their pay should not be limited to just basic pay but must reflect ‘normal remuneration’. This means that pilots should be entitled to holiday pay in respect of remuneration (such as flying supplements) that is linked intrinsically to the performance of tasks which they are contractually obliged to perform. In contrast, remuneration (such as time away from base allowances) intended to cover ancillary costs arising at the time of the performance of contractual duties need not be taken into account.
The ECJ’s decision is just advisory though and it is still down to the domestic courts to decide how to interpret that so there is an argument there, coming from the highest court in Europe, that flight crew (and in turn it could certainly be argued cabin crew) should not just get paid basic pay for holidays and in turn sick pay and any other type of pay which relies on the interpretation of what is ‘normal pay’.
Whilst you may certainly raise this with the employer, if they refuse to acknowledge it, the only way to challenge it is to take it to court.
This is your basic legal position. I have more detailed advice for you in terms of the steps you must take if you wanted to take this further, which I wish to discuss so please take a second to leave a positive rating for the service so far (by selecting 3, 4 or 5 stars) and I can continue with that and answer any further questions you may have. Don’t worry, there is no extra cost and leaving a rating will not close the question and we can continue this discussion. Thank you
Thank you. Just for reference that case was Williams and others v British Airways plc – there should be a lot of literature online on it.
If you did want to take this further then if you can do is as a group it would be much better than if you pursued it alone as an individual.
To take it further you should be going to the employment tribunal. A new feature in the employment tribunal’s claims process is mandatory early conciliation with ACAS. This requires prospective claimants to notify ACAS and provide details of their intended claim and they would then try to negotiate between the claimant and respondent to seek out of court settlement in order to avoid having to take the claim to the tribunal. It is possible for the parties to refuse to engage in these negotiations, or that they are unsuccessful, in which case they would get permission to proceed with making the claim in the tribunal.
If negotiations are initiated and settlement is reached, then the claimant would agree not to proceed with the claim in return for the agreed financial settlement.
The conciliation procedure and the form to fill in can be found here:
however you approach it, you are opening a can of worms and these matters are never easy to determine, that's for sure. This is especially the case in more complex professions in terms of pay, such as the airlines. As you appear to have a union, they would be your best aide in pursuing this so use them to the full extent