Ministry to give new SOP for cabin crew interviews


PETALING JAYA: The transport ministry is expected to present new guidelines and standard operating procedures (SOP) for airlines to comply with during interviews with female candidates for employment.

The National Union of Flight Attendants Malaysia (Nufam) said it has been informed of the decision made at the ministry’s meeting with airlines stakeholders yesterday, following an outcry over reports that Malindo Air required flight attendant aspirants to strip to their bras during interviews.

In a statement today, Nufam secretary-general Mohd Akram Osman lauded the decision, saying it was timely and will prevent any untoward harassment incidents on young women seeking a job as a flight attendant or other frontline roles.

“There should always be a tight policy on interviews for airline cabin crew, especially involving female workers.

“We do not want to hear complaints from female candidates stating of any abuse or harassment during these interview sessions,” he said.

It was reported earlier this week that Malindo had asked flight attendant job applicants to expose their chests, lift their skirts, fold up their pants or remove their pantyhose.

Internet users have criticised the company, and at least three opposition MPs called for an end to such procedures, urging Malindo to apologise to all Malaysian women.

In a statement on April 5, Malindo, which has employed 700 female cabin crew members to date, said the grooming checks were conducted to spot visible marks, and were conducted privately and in a professional manner by female supervisors.

The airline said internal investigations had been carried out on the matter, stressing that it had adhered to regulations in all its recruitment processes since its inception in 2013.

Akram called for airline companies to be extra careful and professional when performing the interviews.

“We also urge airlines to conduct their grooming checks in a most professional manner and within a confined and safe environment for all these female candidates.

“Conducting interviews in remote areas and outskirts which are not safe for female workers is not advisable,” he said, adding that airlines must take more responsibility in ensuring the well-being of the candidates during open and walk-in interview sessions, by having them in conducive areas with basic amenities.

“We have been informed that even drinking water and seating areas were not provided during interview sessions despite the waiting time and queue being very long, with hundreds of candidates vying for the job.”