Award-winning company slammed for terminating pregnant employees

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Qatar Airways – which was recently named the World's Top Airline – has come under fire after it was revealed that female staff could lose their jobs if they fall pregnant. 

The International Labour Organisation (ILO) has reportedly called on the airline to remove the clause in employee contracts which states: “The company reserves the right to automatically terminate your contract as a flying cabin crew member should you become pregnant”.

Akbar Al Baker, the company’s CEO, responded by claiming that the ILO and the UN have “a vendetta against Qatar Airways and [his] country”, adding that his only intention is “to run a successful airline”.

The employment agreement also contains a clause which prevents female members of staff – who make up around 80% of the airline’s 9,000 strong cabin crew – from marrying without gaining permission from Qatar Airways. 

Although certain regulations have been dubbed the “cultural norm” for Qatari people, 90% of the airline’s overall staff are migrant workers. 

It is reported that the airline has now vowed to implement procedures to re-hire pregnant women in other roles within the company – but expectant mothers must first resign and reapply, with no guaranteed job offer.

According to Qatar Airways’ careers website, employees are “provided with every opportunity to succeed”.

“Qatar Airways strive to be recognised and respected as one of the country’s leading organisations in the development of Qatari talent,” the webpage states. “Our aim is to attract, develop and retain future Qatari leaders who are able to contribute to the success story of our five star airline.

“In line with Qatar National Vision 2030, we are committed to developing a rich working environment, where Qatari Nationals are developed to their full potential. We constantly aim to recognise and reward future talent by offering world-class training opportunities accompanied by international learning experiences.”
 

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