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Flight Attendant Sacked For Being 700g Overweight Loses Unfair Dismissal

Flight attendant sacked for being 700g overweight loses unfair dismissal

A flight attendant sacked for being 700g overweight has lost her unfair dismissal claim.

Malaysia Airlines policy states flight attendants’ body mass index (BMI) must be in the “healthy” range,  The Edge Markets reports.

Flight attendant sacked for being 700g over weight limit

Flight supervisor Ina Meliesa Hassim worked for Malaysia Airlines for 25-years when she lost her job in 2017.

Hassim is 160cm tall, therefore, according to company policy, she must weight no more than 61kg.

However, her official weigh-in registered at 61.7kg, and as a result, the airline terminated her contract.


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Worker files unfair dismissal claim

Hassim filed a complaint for unfair dismissal, however, a Malaysian industrial court ruled in favour of the company.

Malaysia Airlines said Hassim failed to attend scheduled weigh-ins in addition to failing to achieve the optimal weight.

Her lawyers unsuccessfully argued major airlines such as Qantas and British Airways don’t have minimum BMI limits for cabin crew.

Furthermore, they told the court that less than 1kg of extra weight did not prevent Hassan from doing her job properly.

In the end, the court found the airline had been clear to staff regarding its weight policy and how it was necessary to “maintain its image as a premium airline”.

Court chairman Syed Noh Said Nazir said in the ruling:

“The court is convinced that the company had provided the claimant with ample opportunities and chances to comply with the company’s policy and that despite the many opportunities, however, the claimant had consistently failed to achieve her optimal weight.”

Airline says weight rule maintains image

In a memo to staff in 2015, the airline said:

“As cabin crew, apart from maintaining the appearance as set by the company, you are also responsible to ensure the safety of our passengers while on flights.

“Being front liners in uniform, cabin crew cast an unforgettable image in the minds of our valued guests.

“It is for this reason that the company considers the feedback received from our customers on the image of crew and inevitably even the appearance of cabin crew has been included as one of the attributes in the passenger flight experience survey and which is being tracked monthly.

“ … With this policy in place, the airline will see healthier cabin crew who will project an image befitting that of the world’s best cabin staff as well as for ensuring the passengers’ safety when the necessity arises.”


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