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Mark Mother’s Day by signing our maternity pay petition.

by Nancy Jackson Media and Communications Officer

As families all around the UK mark Mother’s Day, BALPA is asking its members to do their bit to support mums working in the piloting profession by signing our maternity pay petition.

Balancing work and a career is difficult for any parent and women often struggle to juggle the two, no matter what their career is. For women considering being a pilot and having to spend large amounts of time away from home, it can be difficult to see how it would be possible to achieve. But it is possible as we found out in a blog last year by Adelle Roberts, a mum and a pilot.

Female pilots face difficult choices when having a family and when it comes to maternity pay, aviation is lagging behind many other industries.

Most airlines offer only the standard rate of statutory maternity pay set by the government, which is currently £145.18 for weeks seven to 39 of maternity leave. For many pilots, this will represent a reduction in the normal take-home pay of 80-90%

These pilot testimonials explain just how difficult it is to make finances work when female pilots have a family.

But BALPA believe it should not be this difficult. That’s why we launched our Baby on Board campaign to fight for enhanced maternity pay for pilots.

And we’re making waves… We’ve briefed MPs at a parliamentary launch of the campaign attended by the Aviation Minister, Baroness Sugg, Maria Miller MP, who Chairs the Women and Equalities Committee in the House of Commons and Frances O’Grady who is the General Secretary of the TUC.

BALPA launches it’s Baby on Board campaign

And we’ve even had attention from the very top of the political tree. BALPA’s General Secretary, Brian Strutton, was invited to meet with Number 10’s Policy Unit to discuss the campaign.

BALPA General Secretary, Brian Strutton and Head of Communications, Richard Toomer visit No. 10 

At the same time, we’ve been pushing airlines to make real changes. Our group of female pilots who are leading the campaign continue to meet and help plot our campaign strategy. And our company councils are in talks with managers across the industry to put this issue on their agenda.

Our petition online is gathering support too. Nearly 6,000 people have signed to show they want pilots to get the maternity pay they need and deserve.

So today, as you honour the mums in your life, why not show support for mums who are juggling family and a piloting career, by signing our petition?