Jet2 loses appeal over pilot ‘rejected for trade union activity’
Published: 19 February 2018
The airline Jet2 has lost its appeal against an Employment Tribunal ruling that it rejected a job application from a pilot because of his union activity.
The pilot, Mr J Denby, who is a member of the British
pilots' trade union, began working for the airline in 2005.
In 2009, he suggested to the airline's chairman that the
union should play a more active role in representing its pilots, but the
chairman did not want the union involved.
Mr Denby left the airline in 2011, but applied to return in
2014. When his application was unsuccessful, he claimed that the airline had
refused him employment because of his trade union membership.
The Tribunal found that the refusal had been the chairman's
decision alone and that his sole reason was the pilot's earlier participation in
trade union activities, which related to his union membership.
The Employment Appeal Tribunal has upheld that decision. It
held that the reason for the chairman's refusal was not the mere fact of the
pilot's union membership but because he had taken part in the activities of
that union in actively advocating and promoting its role as representing the
interests of the pilots.
The pilot had established the history necessary to his claim
and the Tribunal was entitled to find that his attempt to introduce the union
into the workplace had angered the chairman to such an extent that he continued
to feel animosity towards him years later.
Accordingly, the refusal of employment related to the
pilot's trade union membership and so there had been a breach of the Trade
Union & Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992.
Please contact Matthew Sigsworth in our Dispute Resolution
Team if you would like more information about the issues raised in this article
or any aspect of Employment Law.