Jetstar pilot loses meal break complaint

By Hana Garrett-Walker

A Jetstar pilot has lost an employment case after he said he wasn't getting proper rest and meal breaks. Photo / NZ Herald
A Jetstar pilot has lost an employment case after he said he wasn't getting proper rest and meal breaks. Photo / NZ Herald

A Jetstar pilot with 23 years' experience has lost a case in which he claimed he was not getting meal and rest breaks between flying domestic and international routes.

Richard Greenslade went to the Employment Relations Authority saying Jetstar was breaching a clause of his individual employment agreement by not letting him leave the plane during turnaround periods.

But Jetstar said it was providing rest and meal breaks in accordance with his contract and the Employment Act.

Greenslade started working for Jetstar in January 2008.

He claimed he was unable to take a break from the plane when the aircraft he was piloting was on the ground during the turnaround period.

But Mark Rindfleish, Jetstar chief pilot, told the authority that during the cruise part of the flight there was opportunity for rest or meal breaks.

Greenslade agreed this was possible, but maintained that during the turnaround period he was prevented from leaving the aircraft and this breached part of his contract.

Jetstar said meal breaks could happen when one pilot controlled the aeroplane and the other had a break.

Authority member Eleanor Robinson said Jetstar was required to comply with mandatory rest breaks and Greenslade was provided with adequate food at appropriate times of duty.

Robinson ruled that Jetstar did not act in breach of the duty of good faith towards Greenslade.

She said Greenslade was an experienced pilot with full knowledge not only of the industry legislation, but also of how Jetstar operated in respect of rest breaks.

"Having considered this issue, I determine that Jetstar did not act in breach of the duty of good faith towards Mr Greenslade."

However, she recommended that Jetstar revisit the wording of its employment agreements.

- APNZ

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