A SENIOR British Airways stewardess has been awarded almost £40,000 after the airline company refused to allow her to work part-time after she had a baby.

Chloe Daly, who had worked for BA for almost 10 years, was told her application to reduce her hours by 25 per cent and work on set days, would hurt staff morale if approved.

Ms Daly, who was working as an in-flight business manager (IBM) for BA Cityflyer, based in London City Airport, was awarded £38,741,55 and BA was found guilty of sex discrimination at an employment tribunal.

The Thundersley resident told the tribunal BA "was very resistant to granting flexibility", and that the majority of cabin crew who took maternity leave either left immediately after the end of their leave.

Ms Daly became pregnant in late 2016 and was due to go on maternity leave in August 2017.

In July 2017, her daughter was born six weeks early, with serious health problems. She took her maternity leave and was due to return in August 2018.

However, Ms Daly says she was unable to find suitable childcare to match her working patterns. There is no creche at the airport and she and her husband had no local family to help.

She told the tribunal the cost of the most affordable five-day a week childminder she could find would equate to 60 per cent of her monthly salary and was unviable.

She could not find a childminder who was willing to be flexible around her ever-changing shift patterns.

In June 2017 Ms Daly applied for flexible working, with set days off during the week, a 25 per cent reduction of hours, but added she was happy to work more weekends, if needed, because her husband, who is a teacher, was at home at the weekend.

She even proposed a six-month trial period ‘to see if it works for both the company and myself’.

Her request was rejected by bossed who raised concerns over her team’s work quality would suffer and that there “may be a negative impact on morale within the team if they had to manage situations that may arise in your absence in addition to their current workload.”

Ms Daly resigned in May 2018 after finding out she was pregnant with a second child.

In her resignation letter she wrote: ‘Due to my flexible working request and appeal application being denied by the company, it would make it extremely hard for me to return to my current role full-time, and with no flexibility offered from the company to assist me on my return from maternity leave, it is with great sadness that after giving BACF flexibility, hard work and dedication for ten years that I feel I have been given no option but to resign from my loved role as IBM at London City.”

Finding the airline guilty of indirect sex discrimination, the tribunal said it had no evidence granting Mrs Daly's request would affect staff morale.

Employment Judge David Massarella said: “BA was open to flexible working requests when they arose out of medical circumstances, but resistant when they arose by reason of childcare responsibilities.”