There are around 80 pregnant air hostesses who are not permitted to fly after the Sri Lankan management decided to change a rule which prohibits them from having babies until six months after they join the airline, former Head of Human Resources, Pradeep Kekulawala said to the Sri Lankan Airlines Commission last Thursday.
Kekulawala made this statement after Senior State Counsel Fazly Razik probed him whether he was aware that company limitations had caused air hostesses to go for abortions. Kekulawala said that this issue had caused a substantial financial loss to the company.
Earlier, facing before the Commission, a former senior air hostess exposed that there were times when fellow female employees were required to resort to have abortions because of the pressure put on them by the HR division. She also told the Commission that she had to quit in 2012 due to this rule.
“The front line staff of UL including air hostesses are primarily appointed on a three-year contract. Then they are made permanent. Earlier regulations required 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 quit,” Kekulawala said.
He further said that as a result of a shared management choice 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.