BA’s former cabin crew in Hong Kong can sue airline

February 26, 2011

(From The Telegraph -UK- By Louisa Peacock) UK multi-nationals face another legal “headache” after British Airways lost its appeal to stop Hong Kong-based former cabin crew suing the airline under UK law.

On Thursday, the Court of Appeal upheld two previous rulings that a group of foreign workers were entitled to claim age and race discrimination against BA under UK legislation.

BA had forced the overseas staff to retire at the age of 45, arguing UK discrimination law did not apply to them.

But despite spending limited time on UK turf, the former crew members took safety training and “rest periods” in London.

Juliet Carp, of law firm Speechly Bircham, said the number of claims from foreign workers would rise as a result of the ruling – clogging the “overwhelmed” tribunal system further.

She said: “This decision will worry UK multi-nationals because employees working abroad often visit the UK for short periods of time, for example to attend team meetings or training. The prospect of those occasional visitors being brought within the scope of UK employment law is a headache for employers.”

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