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The way we run our business

The workplace

Engaging our colleagues

We ensure that colleagues are kept well informed about our Company, customers and industry by using comprehensive internal communications. Face-to-face communication is our priority and we run regular briefings across the Company so that as many people as possible can meet, question and share ideas with senior and line managers. We run workshops to support managers in communicating key announcements and also online forums and an online Ideas Exchange to encourage wider dialogue. Other communication channels include a personalised intranet, mobile SMS messaging, video and a range of Company-wide and local newsletters.

In 2008/09 we saw a sea change in the way people within our business think about working here. Our Speak Up! attitude survey in the autumn of 2008 recorded significant improvements in scores for pride, service and product advocacy, and satisfaction with basic conditions.

The results reflect the positive way colleagues feel about our move to Terminal 5 and our improved performance. Encouragingly, the number of people responding to the survey rose too, indicating that more employees regard this as an important means of expressing their opinions.

To make the survey more effective, we want to ensure that changes are implemented as a result. All managers are now being given a clear responsibility to plan actions based on survey findings in an open and transparent way. Next year we will run the survey more frequently during the year, so that managers get regular feedback on changes in colleague opinion.

2009/10 will also see the launch of an Engagement Index. Building on Speak Up! results, this will help identify how managers can increase levels of engagement within their teams.

Employment tribunals

During 2008/09, the Group was served with 74 new proceedings in employment tribunals. British Airways Plc was the respondent in all but three of the proceedings. The other three are against BA Avionic Engineering, CityFlyer and BA Maintenance Cardiff. This remains a low figure given our relative size. Of the 74 proceedings:

  • We lost no tribunal claims in the year;
  • We did lose a preliminary hearing, currently being appealed, concerning the rights of staff employed and resident in Hong Kong to pursue discrimination claims in the UK;
  • Six claims involved multiple claimants, including two, on how holiday pay should be calculated under Civil Aviation (Working Time) Regulations, brought on behalf of some 13,000 pilots and cabin crew members;
  • Claims including a discrimination element outnumbered those for unfair dismissal for the second year. There were 19 unfair dismissal claims, about the same as in 2007/08; and
  • A total of 47 claims for discrimination or discrimination and other matters were lodged, a 60 per cent increase on the year before. Of these, 31 are ongoing, 12 were settled and four withdrawn, won by British Airways or struck out.
“We negotiate with a total of three trade unions representing colleagues across the business. We seek to work constructively with colleagues and their representatives to improve productivity and performance.”

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