Islamic headscarf ban is legal

2016-05-31 Jennifer Renney-Butland posted:

A private security company, G4S, which provides services to various customers from the public and private sectors was vindicated this week when the Advocate General of the European Court of Justice decided there had been no religious discrimination when Mrs Achbita was dismissed for refusing to follow dress code policy by insisting on wearing an Islamic headscarf at work.

G4S’ employee dress code states that employees ‘are not permitted to wear any religious, political or philosophical symbols while on duty’.

The Advocate General gave the opinion that the ban on wearing religious symbols could not be classified as direct discrimination, because the ban applied to all religious symbols, without distinction, and extended to political and philosophical symbols.

The Advocate General also said that she considered it relevant that employers have a fundamental freedom to run a business, which must include the right to determine how roles are carried out and to insist on compliance with a dress code as part of company policy. Here, the headscarf ban was part of G4S’s policy of religious and ideological neutrality, which was ‘absolutely crucial’ given the wide range of customers G4S dealt with. The policy therefore pursued a legitimate aim which appeared to be proportionate.

If you need to update your dress code, get in touch at 01225632240 or email us at info@renneyandco.com.

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