British Airways Dismisses New Employee Because Of Hairstyle

British Airways currently has approximately 45,000 staff around the globe, including 16,500 cabin crew and 3,900 pilots. Many staff work at British Airways’ global hub at Heathrow Terminal 5.

Sid Ouared was hired as a customer service agent to work in Terminal 5, and undertook an initial training session of about three weeks. He claims that on the final day of his training last month, he was dismissed by British Airways for refusing to change or cover up his ‘man-bun’ hairstyle. For those of you who don’t know what this hairstyle looks like, here is a photograph of Sid – the style reminds me of the way many Virgin Atlantic female cabin crew style their hair:

Sid Ouaren with the ‘offending’ hairstyle (Source: Twitter: itvnews)

He claims British Airways told him the style did not comply with their uniform policy. He also claims this was a sexist decision, as a female would be allowed to wear such a style at work, also saying:

The fact that they dismissed me for being a man with long hair is ridiculous and sexist. They have discriminated against me. They basically said cut it, put it in a turban like a Sikh, or turn it into dreadlocks like a Rastafarian. I am not any of those things, and I can’t believe that they would make me wear my hair like something that I am not.

Right now we live in multicultural Britain. We live in the age of equality and we should be open-minded.I have worked with lots of luxury retailers and never had an issue with my hair. But this stuffy old airline won’t allow me to have my hair as I like it.

British Airways has refused to comment on this matter.

Apparently from the image below he got to keep the uniform though?

Sid Ouared with his evidence of his training from British Airways (Source: Daily Mail)

My take on this

I’m mostly with British Airways on this one.

Every airline in the world has very strict uniform and presentation standards. I’ve seen these policies for some airlines and they are extremely specific with details and even pictures of what dies and does not comply.

That is why cabin crew, especially on the world’s top airlines, always look immaculate. Whether you like this hairstyle on a male or female is irrelevant. Sid accepted the role knowing there would be a strict uniform and appearance policy to comply with.

Assuming he had this style in the recruitment process I would be very surprised if British Airways did not either ask him if he was willing to change it if he was hired, or advised him that he would not commence customer facing employment following his training, if his hair did not comply with the uniform policy. He chose to proceed anyway.

I’ve traveled through Terminal 5 dozens of times, and certainly have never seen any staff with ‘dreadlocks like a Rastafarian.’ Of course British Airways, having a very diverse workforce, does allow staff to cover their hair, and heads, for religious observance reasons.

However this hairstyle is not related to religion – he simply likes having an unusual hair style. It’s no different than if he wanted to dye his hair fluro pink and green.

Why would you take a job with a ‘stuffy airline stuck in the 1970s’ if you knew what their conditions were, but refused to comply with them?

Bottom line

I remember my first ever Virgin Atlantic flight last year, being very surprised to see the male Flight Service Manager had shoulder length hair, worn down. While it suited the retro brown male uniform Virgin Atlantic has, it struck me that it was the first time I had ever seen a male cabin crew member with long hair not pulled back neatly.

But that is Virgin Atlantic, and they set their own uniform policy. It is their right to set whatever appearance guidelines (that do not discriminate), that they wish to project the right image of their brand, regardless of current (or well, previous) fashion styles.

I can’t work out why they allow him to commence and complete his training with a hair style that did not comply with policy. That was definitely wrong of BA and they should apologise to him for that at least.

If you consider this is sexual discrimination then should airlines allow male staff to wear the female uniform even if they are identifying and presenting as male?

I wouldn’t take on an office job if they had a compulsory dress or appearance code I did not want to comply with. It’s a clear written condition of a contract of employment.

Do you think it was fair for British Airways to dismiss an employee for their hairstyle?

(Tip of the hat to The Points Guy)

Comments

  1. “…I would be very surprised if British Airways did not either ask him if he was willing to change it if he was hired, or advised him that he would not complete training if his hair did not comply with the uniform policy. He chose to proceed anyway.” But you *don’t* have that information. I’m actually with him on this one (I don’t like the hair style, btw). There are plenty of other areas where BA could do with higher standards, but it’s hardly the hair of their male customer service agents.

  2. Well here’s the real question: do they allow women to wear their hear like that? If so, then this man has a legitimate claim of sex-based discrimination.

    Also, I don’t agree with the notion that BA is right just because they have a strict policy. Policies can be wrong and discriminatory!

  3. I disagree with your observation. If he was asked to change his hair and didn’t, he should’ve been dismissed the first day of training. As long as his style is neat, it should not pose an issue. I hope he sues.

  4. Reminds of the the BS happening in the US. If BA won’t hire you, go somewhere else… it’s not that hard. Same thing if someone won’t bake your cake, just go somewhere else. Is it really worth it throwing a tantrum like a kid?

  5. This is utterly ridiculous. His haircut is neat and well-styled. Women would be allowed the same hairstyle. These sort of gendered uniform requirements are on their way out and have no place in modern society. I find it baffling that you don’t see this as sex discrimination and disappointing you would defend the airline.

  6. I’m with him. Private businesses should not have the license to be dictators just because they’re private businesses. Businesses are constantly having their rights prioritized over the rights of individuals and are never held accountable to anyone or anything. This instance has nothing to do with British Airways having control over their image, because there are so many other things that they could actually do to control or improve their image. This is just corporations exercising their control over individual rights because they can and nobody will stop them.

  7. “or advised him that he would not complete training if his hair did not comply with the uniform policy” – well he’s holding a certificate of completion so I suppose this didn’t happen

  8. @Aaron

    Yeah, and let’s allow businesses to not serve Black people or hire women for jobs with real responsibility!

  9. I have to take the side of the employee in this case. He was hired with his hair as is. If BA had a policy against this hairstyle, why was he allowed to be in a month long training session? As someone who has been in hospitality for over 30 years, when we’ve had a dress/hair/grooming policy, it is clearly stated that in order to receive your offer, you must adhere to the policy.
    It seems that BA hired him, and allowed him to go through training with this hair. And then should allow him to work. If there were other issues, I’d be interested to hear what they are.

  10. Any airline has the right to impose a code of appearance of its staff. But you don’t dismiss someone after he passed the training course. So while for the dressing code I’m 100% on the side of the airline, in regards to this specific issue I’m not because this should have been made clear from day one and apparently it wasn’t. So BA just because of this in my opinion is at fault. Not sure if legally but definitely ethically.

  11. The problem is that his hair cut is not a mohawk or deadlocks. It’s a bob or bun style that is very common with women. So unless ba also bans this for women, it is gender discrimination. Cut and dried. That is it.

  12. While I happen to HATE the man-bun look, British Airways seems to have known what they were getting when they hired this fellow. It was unfair if BA to let him go all the way through training and then refuse him employment.

  13. What does “would a female be allowed to have that hairstyle?” have anything to do with gender discrimination? Just because a women is allowed to wear a bra and skirt didn’t mean guys can do so and not be seen as unprofessional.

  14. James, how would you like it if Ben fired you because you changed your hair color/style/length? Or fired you because you had light skin when you were hired but then you got a sunburn and he thought your changed skin colour looked unprofessional? Or he thought he was hiring a gay blogger but it turns out you’re straight?

    Would you tell him it has nothing to do with the quality of your blogs?

    Appearance has nothing to do with job performance.

  15. @ Mieke – Appearance is important in customer facing roles. That’s why they have a uniform in the first place.

    If I breached a condition of my employment contract I would expect consequences.

  16. In my mind, the real question is why he was allowed to attend and complete this training if his hair really did not conform to BA standards. When one is hired, there is usually a process by which the employer presents a series of rules to which staff are required to conform. Either he knew these rules or BA’s hiring manager dropped the ball.

  17. @David, I have a male coworker who cross-dresses. Always one of the best-dressed people around. Very professional. Why should it be an issue? Of course it’s a high tech engineering firm and some people show up in sweat pants, so the bar is set low…

  18. Even though it is quite common, I find it wrong for a business to impose specific rules on one’s appearance other than general requirements, such as to appear well-groomed or wear a uniform if it makes sense for the job.
    He looks clean and professional, and there shouldn’t be any objection regarding his hairstyle, however peculiar it may look. As others pointed out, if would have been accepted for a woman, which makes it even more shameful.
    While this is a minor issue, I believe people should speak out. Some policies need to evolve.

  19. @David

    Kilts (I.e, male skirts) are considered professional. And who would know what underwear you gave on?

  20. BA already allows women to wear their hair in buns, it’s a joke that they don’t allow men to.

  21. There was a tv series a few years back which showed the BA recruitment process and it was clear this isn’t acceptable. We don’t know if he was told during training however it simply looks ridiculous. Perhaps he was informed that his job is secure provided he changes his hair style.
    He passed, failed to change it and thus he has a case.

  22. The employee is correct. If they allow women to wear that style, then it is discrimination.

    “It’s no different than if he wanted to dye his hair fluro pink and green.”

    False. If the company has a universal policy – natural hair color only – that is ok because everyone can comply equally.

    The problem is that some employees are allowed, and some arent. That’s wrong.

  23. Firstly no-one here knows how he wore his hair either at interview or during training. Secondly it’s a terrible hairstyle – it’s just bad (and no it’s not the same as the women who wear their hair in a “donut”). Thirdly, I would imagine certain “luxury retailers” wouldn’t even let him through the door looking like that. It’s not necessarily about being sexist – for luxury and or fashion retailers it’s a complicated area, often based on physical looks/physique and personal “style”. Whether you think that’s right or fair is debatable. For organisations like BA it is about projecting impressions of professionalism. Are you really going to see this hairstyle on men working for Cathay or Qatar or Singapore? Would it bother me if I saw him with his like that at T5 – not personally. I do hate man-buns though.

  24. If you want to style yourself in an unusual manner, then get a job with a company that allows it. This is a no-brainer. The employee is wrong.

  25. As far as justifying this hairstyle because a woman is allowed a bun, would it be acceptable if he wore a dress and heels to work? I don’t think it’s unreasonable for BA to ask him to find another style.

  26. @ James

    “If you consider this is sexual discrimination then should airlines allow male staff to wear the female uniform even if they are identifying and presenting as male?”

    Either you believe in equality or you don’t. You can’t have partial equality (any more than you can be “a bit” pregnant).

    “What’s sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander”.

    I’m a BA Gold: I think he looks perfectly respectable.

  27. You have to side with BA.

    If the guys hair was naturally like that, he’d have a point. However, he actively styles it against policy and is therefore at fault.

  28. As others have noted, if BA allows females to sport a similar “do,” then disallowing him to do so would be a paradigmatic case of gender-discrimination, federally outlawed in the USA by Title VII, regardless of the whether you think FAs should be “immaculate looking.”

    I can’t speak to employment laws in the UK.

    –employment lawyer, AMLaw50

  29. It wasn’t so long ago women had to wear skirts to work instead of pants, or that everyone had to come in suits instead of jeans and hoodies. Work styles change. Strict rules about gender presentation change. Frankly, if I get to decide as a woman whether I want to wear a skirt or pants each day, I think guys should get the same courtesy. (Seriously, dudes, try dresses. They are so comfy. Especially on these hot summer days!)

  30. I think I’m with the man-bun offender here. Anything to take the focus off the British teeth, I say.

  31. The hairstyle looks silly. Do I really want to be served by a staff member who thinks grooming for the work environment is nothing but a big joke? No – dignity, decorum and modesty are what I look for.

  32. Nobody knows what BA told him, only one side of the argument here. Lots of conclusions being jumped to without knowing ALL the facts.

  33. I’m with James and BA. Uniforms are there for a reason. I find it awful seeing how poor sooo many flight attendants on US airlines look. You’re not there to be “creative” with your look working for an airline in uniform. You don’t see it with QF, NZ SQ, CX, EK etc. It’s not a party.

  34. Thank goodness British Airways is there to protect us.:) By the way, from a food safety point of view, the man bun is much better than anyones hair flowing free in the breeze. I just don’t care to have employees hair in my food. Maybe it’s just me.

  35. The bun doesn’t fit BA’s image. Don’t work for them if you don’t want to dress in a way that fits their corporate image. Be neat. A man bun is not neat to many people. This is not about religion, it’s about style. If it does not fit with that company’s style, then check out another. Like Virgin or someone. It’s no big deal. BA should have addressed this upon allowing this gentleman to go through their training, but in the end it’s up to them to decide what kind of image they wish to portray. It’s about the brand. This man can seek a position at companies that think man buns are swell, and for whom the man bun fits with their image. Everyone must admit it’s an unusual style (apart from the fact that it’s not really on trend…). Google, yes. Virgin, maybe. BA, no. There’s no crime here on the part of BA. Companies should be able to decide what kind of image they want to present in terms of hairstyle parameters, within reason. By the arguments of many, male employees should also be allowed to wear high heels and paint their nails. Maybe that’s just not the image BA wants to project. Don’t they have that right to promote their brand as they see fit? Gender or age discrimination, or sexual orientation are not acceptable – but as a customer service agent, you are projecting the image of the company for whom you work. Sorry.

  36. I’m with the bulk of the commenters here in siding largely with the employee. Respectfully, I think there’s a lot more weight in hairstyles and dress codes than simply “did you know about it beforehand” – for example, although obviously not raised in this individual example, there have been a number of employment disputes involving the hair of black women that have made it all the way to trial, because what we understand as “neat and clean” carries a lot of cultural baggage (in those examples, baggage relating to relaxed versus natural hairstyles). So when he points out that this hairstyle would be acceptable for a female flight attendant, I think that is worth thinking about – if it’s appropriate for women, why wouldn’t it be appropriate for men? It’s not less neat and clean on a man versus a woman. It seems to be speaking to gender stereotypes and what we think of as acceptable on a masculine man versus a feminine woman, and in 2018 is that really the grooming standard that we should be using?

  37. @Kathleen
    1960 called and they’d like their morality back.

    Seriously lady, it’s 2018- you cannot discriminate between male and female employees no matter how much you couch your bigotry in terms of “branding”.

    @James- you’ve lost considerable credibility here, dude. You are totally on the wrong side of history on this one.

  38. 1. Tip of the hat to The Points Guy for a story they took from the New York Post that they copied from The Sun. You guys are seriously just reposting tabloid articles now?

    2. Given the journalistic integrity of The Sun, the facts in this case are highly suspect.

    3. Man buns do not look good on anyone. Period.

    4. If Virgin Atlantic were clever, they’d hire this guy just for the PR.

  39. You folks seem to ignore the fact that the employer sets the rules of employment, NOT the employees! Don’t like the rules, DO NOT TAKE THE JOB. It’s YOUR right to not take the job.

  40. If a female flight attendant could wear this hear style, then he must be allowed to as well. He should sue and I hope he wins. I’m not a fan of the hair style myself, but it clearly would not interfere with the performance of his duties any more than a turban or a ponytail would. No customer would be offended by seeing his hair, anymore than they would seeing a flight attendant with some other physical feature they don’t like.

    An airline can impose a uniform policy, but can’t discriminate on the basis of sex or a variety of other factors (race, religion etc), this is a basic tenet of a democratic, tolerant society. If they ban buns of any kind for women as well, or insist on short hair for hygiene reasons, then obviously he would have to comply too.
    Comparisons to QR, SQ, EY and other airlines like that are not helpful, since the UK is a liberal democracy with civil rights, and those airlines, while lovely to fly, are the national airlines of totalitarian countries. They also only hire attractive flight attendants, make them lose weight, retire them when they get too old. This is not something that can ever be allowed in the America or Europe. We must stand with workers – or else, one day, it might be you or me who is deemed too old, too ugly, too something-or-other to be given a job.

  41. @Tmart: the employer sets rules of employment, but within the framework of regulations that are established to protect workers from abuse, protecting for example their free speech, their religious rights etc. This may (although I am not 100% sure about UK laws) include a personal preference such as a hair style. It’ll be interesting if he sues and if he wins or loses.

  42. “Thirdly, I would imagine certain “luxury retailers” wouldn’t even let him through the door looking like that. ” LOL I have been to luxury stores in t shirt and bball shorts. Cmon.

  43. he knew the rules, and should have cut it. I have had jobs where I had to be clean shaven, either because of appearance or safety reasons. I also had been told that although my attire was in line with corporate policy, if I wanted to get promoted and taken seriously I needed to dress the part. If he had just cut his fucking hair, he would have a job. Then again he is not a internet sensation for a few days. Quit whining don’t like the rules don’t take the job.

  44. This is such a non story. BA HR will have had full legal guidance before signing off in his dismiss which was well within a probationary period. He is only using the discrimination tag as a way to bypass those time restrictions. BA has enough staff with attitude to embrace another self entitled one.

  45. I am certain that BA have thousands of job applicants, where a recent photo is a requirement. Therefore I am surprised he was not rejected on the initial sift-through of applications. Apparently someone thought it was OK, but someone else thought differently later on. Awkward, wouldn’t you say?

  46. Ah the joys of multicultural Britain where every little snowflake can scream discrimination when they fail to meet the requirements for a job.

    It’s up to an employer if they will accept an employee or not. This goes double for low skill jobs where the trouble maker is easy to replace.

    If the the gentleman in question is unable to follow basic company rules, how long will it be before he starts making his own rules for everything else? Uniform requirements are there for a reason.

  47. James, on the surface of this I am 100pct with you on this one. BA has a very traditional, rather clear image they are not shy about upholding. I have never seen this hairstyle among their employees and it would indeed surprise me from a stylistic point of view if I did (to add to you earlier point I have never seen a customer service facing employee with Rastafarian dreads either, although I frequently meet Sikhs and female Muslims who choose to cover their hair and are quite rightly not prevented).

    I have to say I am really shocked by some of the reader comments here. I work in a corporate job where showing up to work with such a hairstyle would be totally unacceptable. This is not a denial of my rights, it’s a basic understanding of the corporate image we as a firm wish to project if you can’t comply with that, move on.

    Requesting a change of radical (non-religious) hairstyles and grooming within reason (eg asking someone to shave an out-of-control lumberjack beard that is not for a religious reason) has always been considered the prerogative of an employer. If you seriously believe your appearance doesn’t matter at work at all than you won’t get far in many industries….

    Having said all that WE DONT KNOW THE FACTS we only have one guy who sold his story already. I bet he was told on the first day he would have to change it and then raised trouble at the end, but I could be wrong. Let’s wait for both sides to give their story.

  48. Companies are allowed to set employee appearance standards. It’s been going on for decades. I’m sure they warned/instructed him from the very beginning–and the permissible grooming standards are clearly outlined in the employee regulations. Multi-billion dollar companies don’t need to adjust for one man’s fashion whims.

    Women also wear lipstick, Rouge, eyeshadow and blush. Does it follow that men should be allowed wear makeup also? Of course not. It’s a specious argument. The sexes are different and there are different standards of grooming for each.

  49. Your take on this is ridiculous. The guy looks perfectly presentable, is well groomed, it’s not offensive in any way whatsoever. If he’s competent, I’d sooner this look in preference to some other, presumably more acceptable, BA types ( ..some of whom might look the part but are dumb/uppity/rude/hopeless, etc).
    BA should focus more on competence and less on “the look” ( including the wind tunnel/set in concrete hair).

  50. Paolo, surly you’re kidding. Whether he’s presentable, in you opinion, or not doesn’t matter one way or the other. He’s not abiding by the rules of employment, which he has no say so in. He has the right to accept or refuse the job, it’s his choice to make.

  51. @arcunum. 4. If Virgin Atlantic were clever, they’d hire this guy just for the PR.

    Undoubtedly the outcome desired by the employee and Virgin. BA should not have permitted the f/a beyond training if this is a rule or issue. For BA, “bad PR better than no PR”.

  52. @Tara no he’s not wrong. He definitely has a case and BA are wrong on this one. Had a customer service manager on BA last week with Mohawk style .

    BA management need to get a grip and leave the 1980’s re their rules.

    I reckon Jame’s wears chambray shirts, linen pants with sandals and socks.

  53. As a man, I’d be asking for trouble if I came in to work with a skirt.

    I kinda have to side with BA here. Any significant fine means even more cost-cuttings to their already sh*tty premium cabin offerings.

  54. @James Once upon a time, women working in what you call “customer facing roles” couldn’t wear trousers as part of their uniform. Not allowed they were told (by men) who preferred to have women show some skin. Other industries changed but the last holdouts were (and still are in some places) the ones with a predominantly female workforce – such as airlines. Eventually it was deemed sexist and discriminatory, and we now see most airlines allowing uniformed female staff to wear to wear trousers rather than a dress or a skirt.

    Being clean and neat in appearance, and wearing a uniform per the employer’s policy, are reasonable employment standards in the UK. If BA can provide evidence that allowing man-buns will be significantly detrimental to their business they might have an argument. Chances of that happening – 0.

    If BA’s female staff can wear their hair in a bun then male staff must be allowed to as well. No business is above the law in their employment practices. Human rights law in democratic countries has evolved beyond sexist notions of appearance.

  55. As others have pointed out, we probably don’t know the full story. But on the face of it, I’m with him. The hair looks neat and tidy, and as long as he has a professional demeanour, what’s the problem. A “diverse” workforce shouldn’t just be about hiring staff from “official” religions. There are all kinds of diversity, and the UK is normally more progressive than this.

  56. @Donald: yes, it would be discrimination if a man is told that he cannot wear any makeup. It would be a pretty air-tight case actually. We’d probably be talking about a transgender person or a crossdresser in that case, and they do indeed face a lot of discrimination.
    Asking somebody to shave a beard is not discriminatory in the same way, because women don’t usually have beards, but would also be unacceptable, except perhaps in a situation where it might interfere with the job. As another comment points out, there are BA employees with Mohawks.

    You might ask, where does it ever stop – while there may be extreme cases where some attention-seeking employee would go overboard and have a ridiculous appearance, I don’t think it’ll happen too often, and it’s not a big deal as long as they still do their job professionally. How many airline employees have you seen who are in uniform and with ‘professional’ look, who are utterly incompetent? I’d rather deal with someone with a manbun if he can do his job well.

    As yet another comment points out, companies were forcing women for decades to wear skirts and telling them that they could not wear pants. Prior to that, women could not even get many jobs. Slowly, ever so slowly, we are gradually moving in the right direction, taking the right to discriminate and to control away from employers and empowering workers. But, there is a long way to go.

  57. I am British and many UK companies have grooming standards . Special arrangements are in place at most companies for Sikh males with long hair , this is religious as most of you will know .
    But it seems he is not a Sikh.
    I am with British Airways on this , passengers like me want to see well groomed individuals .

  58. He looks very ugly at second picture, and that might be the reason. Terrible shape beard and randomly folded bun. Not even been designed and purely being lazy. No one wants to be scared at beginning of their journey. Well done, BA.

  59. @James The 1950’s called they’d like their gender based grooming/appearance policies back! Sorry BA this ship has sailed and you need to be on board or get sunk like the Titanic.

    If a gender non-conforming person wants to show up at LHR and check people in wearing a skirt, hose, blouse, heals, hair in a bun, and do so as neatly and professionally as a gender conforming woman than they should be allowed to. As should anyone you wants to do any part of it including “man buns”. We live in a society where diversity is not just about skin color or religion it is also about sexual orientation and gender identity, and I would think this blog would be especially sensitive to that.

    BA may have the legal right to dismiss this employee but they don’t have the moral right to do so. If BA really values diversity as Much as they say they do then this should be a “no brainer”, don’t fire the guy.

    Also I hate “man buns” I think they look ridiculous, would much prefer an pony tail tucked under the jacket, but if women are allowed to wear their hair in a bun then so should men, this is what equality looks like.

    All this reminds me of the answer Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg gave when asked how many US Supreme Court Justices should be female to bring equality to the Court, her answer was “all of them”. She went on to explain that if it was ok for all the justices to be male than it should be ok for all of them to be female, and that is what true equality is.

    Hopefully @James you will realize your moral transgression here and change your gender conforming way of thinking.

  60. Could I ask also for better appearance on BA customers? I hate Manchester and Liverpool fat chavs walking on flipflops and creepy red veins on their fluffy legs.
    Although there are 70 messages if I see this Guy on board/checkout in I wouldnt notice anything shocking for me..

  61. Not a fan of man buns, but just thought I’d share that there is now a Ken doll(as in Barbie’s boyfriend) with a man bun.

  62. I’m on the side of BA…I’m sure they had a rule…he must have hoped they would make an exception on finishing his training. If he stayed, he would be nothing but trouble…so best to let him go now.

  63. In terms of UK employment law BA do not have a leg to stand on if this is challenged. It will be seen as sex discrimination for which the penalties are exemplary.

    Mr Ouared is smart and well presented and as employees are entitled to have their hair in buns then Mr Ouared is being discriminated against. BA’s only way out of this is to ban the bun!

    My job? HR consultant in the UK.

  64. @James – Quite frankly, you make yourself look ridiculous (even more than the absurd hairstyle) by stating that you think gender discrimination is completely acceptable. Perhaps things are different in Australia, but gender discrimination is illegal in the UK.

    @David – Actually, it means exactly that. If women are allowed to wear a bra and a skirt (a rather bizarre uniform choice for an airline but whatever), then men should be allowed too. Likewise, if men are allowed to wear trousers you can’t force your female employees to wear skirts.

  65. The problem with these kind of stories and issues are that you’ll get 10-15 lgbtqzptymn (add whatever other letter they want now) who will go on about how this is discriminatory when it really isn’t. This has nothing to do with sexual discrimination, it’s a stupid looking hairstyle and doesn’t look professional. I’m glad BA sacked him. People in this world are far too PC and are forgetting common sense

  66. @James (above, not the blogger!) – Refusing to allow a man to do something a woman can do (and vice versa) is the very definition of sexual discrimination – are you a moron? (How’s that for PC…)

    Nor can I really go along with “people in this world are just too gosh darn nice to each other”. They are not, and it is in fact a major problem.

  67. Am I the only one who noticed that the certificate spells ‘hereby’ as two words: here by? Is this spelled differently in tbe UK? Or does BA have their own way of spelling it?

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