New cabin crew staff have to disclose health data on demand Dragonair's cabin crew union has attacked the airline over what it says is an unfair employment clause that requires staff to disclose their medical records on demand. The union told a forum that new staff had been bound by the requirement since last year. It comes a month after Cathay Pacific Airways was convicted of breaching the Personal Data (Privacy) Ordinance for penalising staff who refused to provide their medical record upon request. Unionist lawmaker Lee Cheuk-yan said Dragonair's practice was even more 'appalling' than that of Cathay Pacific, which asked for staff consent in procuring their medical records only after they had been on long and frequent sick leave. The secretary of the Hong Kong Dragon Airlines Flight Attendants Association, Michelle Hong Kam-chu, said the union only discovered the new provision three or four months ago when it was reviewing a labour issue on holiday pay. 'I believe many of our junior cabin crew members may not have paid attention to such terms when they signed the contracts, and those who did felt they had no choice if they wanted to keep their jobs,' she told the forum. Ms Hong said the union had not received any complaints about the clause but would soon seek a meeting with management to demand the contracts be rectified or the 'unfair provision' taken out. 'Medical records are private data. It is unfair that the company at its discretion can tap into our medical history, including our health condition before we joined the company,' she said. Dragonair said the clause was introduced in January last year to ensure flight attendant productivity and that 277 crew members were not subject to it. A spokesman said the airline had not exercised its rights under the clause so far. The forum, organised by the Cathay Pacific Airways Flight Attendants Union, was attended by doctors, legislators, unionists and cabin crew from both airlines. Cathay union chairwoman Becky Kwan Siu-wah complained about the airline's sick-leave policy, which she said was uncaring and lacked transparency. 'Many of our flight attendants who were put on the Attendance Monitoring Programme were given lengthy standby blocks where they had nothing to do but wait. They don't even know how they slipped into the programme,' she said. The programme recently introduced by Cathay Pacific serves to monitor performance of flight attendants who take long and frequent sick leave. Through regular interviews, the crew may be requested to disclose their medical records. Fifteen cabin staff had been dismissed since the programme was launched in October, but a spokeswoman said these sackings had nothing to do with their failure to provide medical records. The Hong Kong Doctors Union condemned the rule. President Henry Yeung Chiu-fat said it not only increased misunderstanding between patients and doctors but showed a mistrust of professional conduct among doctors. A Cathay Pacific spokeswoman said the programme was not meant to be punitive but to rationalise roster stability.