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Airline’s pregnancy tests trigger sexism fine

July 14, 2017 Headline News No Comments Email Email

Spain’s Iberia airlines, a sister carrier to British Airways, has been fined the equivalent of AUD 37,220 for making female applicants for cabin crew positions take a pregnancy test.

Iberia, which formed an AUD 8.45 billion alliance with British Airways in 2010 (IAG owns both carriers) was derided on social media for claiming its insistence on a pregnancy test aimed to ensure “the wellbeing of the baby and future mother”, Britain’s Daily Telegraph reported.

The case came to light in Mallorca, Spanish territory. The airline argued that its test for flight crew applicants was not discriminatory, because it was not intended to filter out expectant mothers. Instead, it wanted to ensure they were placed in roles that would not involve any risk to the pregnancy.

Regulatory authorities in Mallorca were not convinced. They viewed the airline’s action not as a shining example of concern for employees, but rather as a blatant example of gender discrimination. They fine Iberia EUR 25,000 (AUD 37,220).

The work, trade and industry secretary for the Balearic Islands government, Iago Negueruela, pointed out that Iberia had not asked male applicants if they were going to become fathers. Iberia was guilty of a “very grave infraction”, he told Cadena Sur radio. Men and women could not be given different tests for access to work.

According to the Telegraph, Spanish authorities are cracking down on sexist hiring practices across the country.

The Diario de Mallorca cited one high-profile case, in which a restaurant in Galicia advertised for a female waitress who was “hard-working, responsible, pretty and a little bit slutty”.

Written by Peter Needham

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