Former Emirates cabin crew members claim their weight was regularly checked by the company and they could lose their jobs if they were ‘too heavy’.
Some employees were allegedly given two weeks to lose the extra pounds, while they could also have their pay cut if they failed.
The shocking allegations come months after an ex-flight attendant said she quit her job after being secretly reported by a colleague for being 10st 7lb at her heaviest.
Emirates has refused to comment on specific policies, but said ‘being fit and healthy, both physically and mentally, is a critical aspect to staff carrying out their duties safely’.
Workers could be enrolled into the ‘Appearance Management Program’ if they’re identified by the ‘weight police’ or if a colleague ‘reports them’, according to a report from Insider.
A former human-resources business partner who worked for Emirates for five years said those targeted are given diet and exercises plans and regularly meet with HR to assess progress.
People are sometimes identified by the airline if they go up a size in uniform in less than six months, it’s claimed.
Up to ‘150 people out of 25,000’ flight attendants were on the program at any given time, it’s estimated by a ‘former manager who worked for the airline for over 10 years’.
Flight attendants could be taken off flights and redeployed to other departments following the programme, former employers allege.
In extreme circumstances, they could be ‘fired for being overweight’.
Speaking about her colleagues’ experiences, Karla Bayson, 36, who was employed by the airline for nine years, said: ‘If they see you popping out from the uniform, they’re going to put you on the ground.’
Ex-flight attendant Maya Dukaric added: ‘If you don’t lose it in that exact period of time, you can lose your job.
‘You’re always under the stress of pressure because you always think you need to be perfect.’
News mothers were allegedly not exempt from rules, and will sometimes be grounded until they ‘lose what is required’.
A former manager said the airline gave those who went on maternity leave 180 days to lose pregnancy weight and claimed the weight requirements were acknowledged in their contracts.
A maternity leave contract said to have been viewed by Insider said employees must meet image and uniform standards per the ‘Uniform Standards Manual including attaining a healthy BMI’ before returning.
It follows claims from Duygu Karaman, 37, that she left her job after three years of weight checks.
Speaking to the Mirror, she said she ‘lost her self-confidence’ after being put on a weight management programme as a size 12.
She said: ‘They didn’t tell me who reported me but they weighed me and said they track everything according to BMI.
‘Because I was 2kg over I was put in a weight management programme. They give you an A4 piece of paper which just said “don’t eat rice, don’t eat bread”. Stuff like that.’
A statement from Emirates said: ‘We do not comment on internal policies or procedures or specific, confidential cases of existing or past employees.
‘As a global airline, we treat the wellbeing of our employees with the highest priority, and we believe being fit and healthy, both physically and mentally, is a critical aspect in them carrying out their duties safely and effectively.
‘It may not always be apparent to our customers, but the responsibilities of our cabin crew are vast, and their ability to influence and achieve safe outcomes when needed, requires extensive training and a minimum standard of physical fitness.’
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