IBERIA AIRLINES has been fined €25,000 by the Ministry of Labour of the Balearic Islands for forcing aspiring flight attendants to take pregnancy tests in what has been ruled as discrimination.
Since the fine, the Spanish airline will drop the pregnancy test requirement and will allow flight attendant applicants to decide whether they tell the company if they are expecting.
‘We will no longer include a pregnancy test in the medical examination for new hires,’ said Maria Teresa Garcia Menendez, Iberia’s workplace health and safety officer in a statement.
‘We will continue to use all necessary means to ensure the safety and rights of pregnant employees, as we have always done. This is an exemplary company when it comes to hiring women.’
Sources within the ministry told the Spanish press that the practice was discovered last year during a campaign against labour discrimination.
Inspectors found that Iberia established a series of criteria for their applicants.
Interviews were conducted by external company Randstand, which also asked female applicants to submit pregnancy tests.
The measures were put in place to ensure that women were not at risk of being assigned tasks that could endanger their pregnancy, such as luggage handling, the airline said.
It said it has never rejected a qualified candidate for employment on the grounds of pregnancy.
‘Enforcing pregnancy tests as part of recruitment has no place in 2017 and we are pleased that the practice is being reversed,’ said Lee Webster, spokesman for international charity Womankind Worldwide.
Women make up 38 percent of the total staff at Iberia and childcare policies, along with reduced working hours, facilitate women’s access to work, the airline said.