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Qatar Airways relaxes female cabin crew pregnancy rules

Qatar Airways flight attendant Image copyright AFP

Qatar Airways is relaxing rules that saw female cabin crew members who became pregnant face the sack.

Under the new policies, female flight attendants who become pregnant are now offered temporary ground jobs.

"This is really about making sure we attract and retain the best talent," said a spokesperson for the Doha-based airline.

The International Labour Organisation (ILO) had criticised Qatar Airways for its treatment of its female cabin crew.

'More options'

An inquiry was set up by the ILO in response to complaints brought forward in June 2014 by the International Transport Workers' Federation and International Trade Union Confederation, prompted by testimony from serving and former cabin crew.

The airline - which had accused the ILO of a "vendetta" against it and Qatar - rejected the inquiry's findings, but said the new rules were part of a wider review of its rules governing cabin crew.

"As our airline has grown, we have now have more options for secondary roles," a spokeswoman said.

Qatar Airways still asks that female crew members notify the company if they plan to get married within their first five years of employment.

But the spokesperson said that the airline requests that notification because the employee's visa status may change because of their marriage; not because they need to ask their employer's permission.

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