There are around 80 pregnant air hostesses who are not allowed to fly after the SriLankan management decided to change a rule which forbids them from having babies until six months after they join the airline, former Head of Human Resources, Pradeep Kekulawala informed the SriLankan Airlines Commission last Thursday.
Kekulawala made this statement after Senior State Counsel Fazly Razik questioned him whether he was aware that company restrictions had caused air hostesses to go for abortions. Kekulawala said that this issue had caused a significant financial loss to the company.
Earlier, appearing before the Commission, a former senior air hostess revealed that there were times when fellow female employees were forced to resort to have abortions because of the pressure put on them by the HR division. She also informed the Commission that she had to resign in 2012 due to this rule.
“The front line staff of UL including air hostesses are initially hired on a three-year contract. Then they are made permanent. Earlier regulations demanded that air hostesses are not entitled for paid leave if they become pregnant within the first three years after they are made part of the permanent staff. If they did, they had to resign,” Kekulawala said.
He further said that as a result of a collective management decision the law had been changed and now air hostesses are entitled to 18 months paid leave. "We do not allow pregnant women to work as air hostesses because of two reasons. One is that it’s not good for their health. The other is that no airline allows air hostesses with a tummy," he said. (Yoshitha Perera)