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BALPA legal victory for former Norwegian Air Resources UK employees

The British Airline Pilots’ Association (BALPA) has welcomed the result of an employment tribunal which highlights the importance of good industrial relations and is a valuable win for its members and the trade union movement as a whole.

BALPA says the win is positive news for hundreds of London Gatwick based Norwegian Air Resources UK (NAR UK) pilots who lost their jobs when the company went into administration.

The basis of the claim by long-haul BALPA members was that NAR UK failed to follow a collective consultation process when the airline entered administration last year.

The employment tribunal, concurred with BALPA’s legal team, that NAR UK failed to consult with the trade union, in breach of several sections of the relevant legislation. The tribunal declared an award of 80 days’ pay should be made to those affected- penalizing the employer for not following good industrial relations practice.

While the scope of the legislation limits the monetary significance of the result and continues to deny our members proper recompense, it remains a great victory for the trade union movement in demonstrating to employers the importance of complying with the obligations set out in the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act  (TULRCA) to collectively consult with the recognised trade union.

The BALPA team will now coordinate the next steps with the Administrators.

BALPA National Officer Terry Brandon said:

“This will come as very welcome news to our ex- Norwegian Air Resources UK Long-haul members who were thrown into real difficulty when they were dismissed by the company.

“The financial reward may, in reality, be limited by the scope of the legislation but it is important that our members have been heard and their plight recognised.

“Many of the pilots affected, over 250 in fact, are still unemployed as recruitment has been halted due to the pandemic. This result is important to them.

“It sends the message to employers that they must follow the collective consultation process properly and that BALPA will do all it can to support members.”