Emirates Airline withdraws flight attendant job offer over woman's history of depression

Megan Cox says she feels discriminated against by the airline

Emirates Airline has withdrawn a job offer to a young British woman after finding out that she had suffered from depression in the past.

Megan Cox believed she had secured her dream job as a flight attendant after receiving a phone call from the Dubai-based airline last month congratulating her on her new role.

However, the 22-year-old from Bridgwater, in Somerset, was told in an email this week that Emirates had decided against employing her in the light of her medical report.

She was diagnosed with a case of depression in 2012 but a note from her doctor sent to the airline explained that since recovering she had “remained fit and well indeed has had no further consultations with us”.

Emirates has a large number of British employees but is not subject to the same regulations. Ms Cox told The Independent she hoped that her case would help highlight the issue.

“I am incredibly heartbroken and feel discriminated against by Emirates,” she said. “I put all my life on hold and spent weeks waiting for my confirmation.”

An email from Emirates to her this week said: “Please be advised that your offer of employment has been withdrawn as you have not met the pre-conditions set out in the offer of employment.”

Campaigners last night expressed concern that people with mental health problems should not face the prospect of losing their job because they have suffered from depression.

“One in four people experience mental health problems in any year but this doesn’t mean they can’t work and do just as good a job as anyone else,” said Kate Nightingale, a spokeswoman at the mental health campaigner Time to Change. Ms Cox set up a Facebook page, Emirates against Depression, to raise awareness of her treatment. It has received comments from women around the world who are worried they will not be able to work as cabin crew because they have a mental illness.

A spokesman for the airline said: “Emirates has a clear and fair recruitment process and is an equal opportunity employer... We are unable to comment on individual recruitment cases.”

Update Saturday 24 May: An Emirates spokesperson said: "Emirates has a clear and fair recruitment process and is an equal opportunity employer. The Cabin Crew environment is both physically and mentally demanding with crew regularly experiencing body clock changes and irregular sleeping patterns, which can take a toll on the body. Given our crew are responsible for the safety of hundreds of passengers it is important that all candidates meet the pre-employment conditions.  Last year Emirates received over 17,000 Cabin Crew applications in the UK alone. All applications are reviewed closely by our trained Cabin Crew recruitment team to ensure suitability for this extremely demanding role. Emirates currently has over 18,000 Cabin Crew working for the airline and takes the health and welfare of its employees extremely seriously.

"Emirates is sorry for Ms Cox's disappointment in not receiving the role, a refund of her pre-employment related medical expenses will be made. We wish Ms Cox all the best for her future endeavours."

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Senior Digital Marketing Consultant

£28000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Senior Digital Marketing Cons...

Recruitment Genius: Assistant Stores Keeper

£16640 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Assistant Stores Keeper is r...

Recruitment Genius: Claims Administrator

£16000 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an excellent opportunit...

Recruitment Genius: Software Developer - C# / ASP.NET / SQL

£17000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Developer required to join a bu...

Day In a Page

'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before
'Queer saint' Peter Watson left his mark on British culture by bankrolling artworld giants

'Queer saint' who bankrolled artworld giants

British culture owes a huge debt to Peter Watson, says Michael Prodger
Pushkin Prizes: Unusual exchange programme aims to bring countries together through culture

Pushkin Prizes brings countries together

Ten Scottish schoolchildren and their Russian peers attended a creative writing workshop in the Highlands this week
14 best kids' hoodies

14 best kids' hoodies

Don't get caught out by that wind on the beach. Zip them up in a lightweight top to see them through summer to autumn
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The acceptable face of the Emirates

The acceptable face of the Emirates

Has Abu Dhabi found a way to blend petrodollars with principles, asks Robert Fisk