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Maternity rights of overseas workers - Collins and others v United Airlines

01 August 2009

In this case four pregnant flight attendants were suspended without pay after, following medical advice, they refused to work on long haul flights. United Airlines denied these women their basic maternity rights on the basis that they were employed under US law. We demonstrated to the employment tribunal that our clients were in fact based in the UK, at London Heathrow airport, and that therefore, they should be protected by UK discrimination law.

As a result, the tribunal not only decided that the women had been victims of unlawful sex discrimination, but in doing so, widened the territorial scope of employment rights for many other foreign employees working in the UK.