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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 46184
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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I work as cabin crew and have been with the same airline for

Customer Question

Hi , I work as cabin crew and have been with the same airline for 17 years . In March this year a passenger collapsed on my flight , I followed the procedure that I have been trained to do that is documented in our company manual and attempted to control his fall. The day after my back was very sore and stiff , I put in an accident report on my next duty 2 days later. I continued to work over the next few months , just taking ibuprofen as my back was stiff in the mornings but freed up once I got moving . In July the disc in my back prolapsed at L5,S1 with nerve compression . I have been unable to work for the past 8 weeks and am waiting for spinal surgery .
I am entitled to 6 months full pay , 6 months half pay . Last year and the year before my taxable income was £19500.00 . My company are only paying me full pay on my basic wage which is £8460.00 . Our allowances which became taxable in 2012/2013 are classed as income now in every aspect , for redundancy calculations , holiday pay , maternity pay etc , surely as I am entitled to full pay I should be paid my normal average income?
I was injured at work through no fault of my own however the no win no fee lawyers are saying it's difficult to claim unless we can prove a blaim , I would like to fight to be paid my full wages though , is this something that can be challenged ?
Any advice would be very much appreciated , thank you .
Nikki Addison
Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 6 months ago.

Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and I will be assisting you with your question today.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 6 months ago.

Hi there Nikki. Please can you tell me what you are ideally hoping for given the circumstances so that I can advise you?

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 6 months ago.

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?

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
My contract from when I started says full basic pay however that was before allowances were classed as income, they were non taxable. I am paid allowances for every flight on an hourly basis from check in to check out. We recently fought for holiday pay which is now worked out on an individuals allowances earn the previous year, we are paid this so we are not worse off when we are on leave. I'm not a lawyer but do think that this should also apply to long term sickness that we should get our normal wages but it hasn't been challenged yet.
I
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
I am in a lot of pain and my life has basically been put on hold. I can't work and I can't go to the gym. Daily chores ate a struggle. A skiing holiday I have already booked for next February is looking highly unlikely. I'm in pain, very fed up and financially struggling through an injury at work that was not my fault.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 6 months ago.

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

Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 46184
Experience: Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
Ben Jones and other Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 6 months ago.

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:

https://ec.acas.org.uk/Submission/SingleClaimantPage

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Thanks that is useful. We had our own claim with Thompsons solicitors for our holiday pay, it did take a few years to sort out but eventually ***** ***** agreed to pay our allowances ontop of our basic pay for holidays. I think this just needs to be challenged for sick pay now.
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
They already have a calculation used for each crew member to work out how much we are paid when on holiday. To start with anyone who was off sick last year was awarded a lower holiday amount as they flew less so had less allowances this has been changed now so if someone is off sick for a month they are credited with an average allowance for that month from other crews allowances. From that alone they have already said that during sickness allowances are credited towards holiday pay!
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 6 months ago.

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

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