SUBSCRIBE: Newsletter

Human Resources



Cathay Pacific flight attendant, hr

Union critical of Cathay Pacific survey on ‘age discrimination’

HR Masterclass Series: High-level HR strategy training workshops
with topics ranging from Analytics, to HR Business Partnering, Coaching, Leadership, Agile Talent and more.
Review the 2019 masterclasses here »


The Hong Kong Cabin Crew Federation (HKCCF) has spoken out against Cathay Pacific’s staff survey on the extension of flight attendants’ retirement age. According to the federation, the current arrangement constitutes age discrimination and the company has an obligation to eliminate it.

Under the current policy, Cathay Pacific’s flight attendants must retire at 55, while pilots can retire at 65. The subject has been an ongoing source of disagreement between the company and many of its staff, who feel the policy is discriminatory and leads to an increased financial burden.

In what seemed to be a step forward in the discussion, earlier this month Cathay Pacific sent a survey to over 9,000 of its Hong Kong-based cabin crew, asking them to take a vote on the potential extension of their retirement age. The company says if more than 5,000 voters agree, it will start negotiations with the HKCCF.

Days before the 5 September deadline, the HKCCF is now criticising Cathay’s move to leave the decision up to a survey. “Anti-discrimination is the obligation of an employer,” HKCCF spokesperson Carol Ng told RTHK.

She added that the government should have more say in the matter, since public opinion agrees that laws against age-related discrimination should be enacted quickly.

In addition to disapproving of the survey itself, the HKCCF has condemned the wording used in it. A post on the union’s Facebook page reveals the introduction to the survey, which it says is aimed at scaring younger employees about their future promotion chances.

In an email to Human Resources, a Cathay spokesperson stated the company has been working closely with the Flight Attendant Union over the last several months in a combined working group to discuss the retirement age matter.

He said: “The working group agreed to conduct a survey to ascertain whether the majority of our Hong Kong based cabin crew desires an extension to retirement age. This survey will close on 5 September. We are committed to maintaining close communication directly with our people. The working group will study the findings and continue discussions as appropriate.”

HKCCF was not immediately available for comment.

ALSO READ: Video: Cathay Pacific flight attendants fight to retire at 65

Photo / Cathay Pacific

For the 5th consecutive year, HR Distinction awards will again honour the very best in the HR industry. Winning is both an affirmation of the exceptional quality of your work in the industry and among peers. Book your gala dinner table now
Contact us now for more details.

Read More News

in All markets by

Relationships or raises?

Financial gains do bring happiness, but are they really worth the cost of emotional bankruptcy at work? Akankasha Dewan explores. ..