The British Airline Pilots Association (BALPA) is urging airlines to take a leaf out of Jet2’s book and respond to the Baby on Board campaign by implementing enhancements to maternity pay and provisions for parents. The pilots’ union launched its Baby on Board campaign in early 2019 to highlight the issue and push for airlines to make the piloting profession more family friendly.
Jet2 is the latest airline (along with Virgin Atlantic and SAS CAE Parc) to have introduced enhanced maternity pay, after starting the year offering pilots just the statutory minimum. BALPA has welcomed the improvements to maternity, paternity and adoption pay at Jet2, saying the company has recognised the barriers that can put people off a piloting career and has taken the first steps towards becoming a family friendly employer.
BALPA says it is now time for other airlines to follow suit and make the industry as a whole a better place for parents. BALPA has recognised that low maternity pay is a serious problem which can put women off being a pilot. That’s why we launched Baby on Board, to highlight the issue and push for real changes that mean that parents don’t have to choose between their family and their profession.
While we still want to see airlines go even further, (and give pilots full pay for the first 26 weeks of their maternity leave and half pay for the remainder of their statutory maternity leave), it is great that Jet2 has recognised the issue and made changes. Its policy makes Jet2 one of the industry leaders in terms of maternity, adoption and paternity pay.
Other airlines must now follow suit. They can’t continue to claim they want to encourage women pilots on one hand, while ignoring the huge barriers they face with the other. If they really want to see more women pilots, they should give parents fair maternity, adoption and paternity pay.
Note: Jet2’s new maternity pay scheme includes the following:
Enhance maternity and adoption pay for a primary adopter at the following rates (inclusive of statutory pay):
• Eligible employees with three years of service will receive the first 12 weeks’ maternity or adoption pay at full basic salary and thereafter statutory pay;
• Eligible employees with four years of service will receive the first 16 weeks’ maternity or adoption pay at full basic salary and thereafter statutory pay; and
• Eligible employees with five years of service will receive the first 20 weeks’ maternity or adoption pay at full basic salary and thereafter statutory pay.
Further to the above, eligible employees with three years’ continuous service with the company will now also receive two weeks’ full basic salary whilst on paternity leave (inclusive of statutory pay).