Religion or belief discrimination

Ashok Kanani Editor's message: Employers should accommodate religious observance wherever reasonably possible as a failure to do so may constitute indirect discrimination.

For example, an employer that requires female employees to comply with a dress code that does not allow Muslim women to wear a hijab would be unlawful unless the employer can show that the discriminatory effect of the requirement on Muslim women is outweighed by a good, non-discriminatory reason for imposing the requirement.

We discuss the justification of indirect discrimination in the context of religion or belief in Employment law manual > Equality and human rights > Religion or belief discrimination > Justification.

Ashok Kanani, employment law editor

Latest items in Religion or belief discrimination

  • When dress codes and English language requirements discriminate

    Date:
    19 September 2016
    Type:
    Editor's choice

    A strict requirement to speak only English at work or a ban on religious dress at work can lead to the risk of race or religious discrimination, explains Deborah Bulman of Burges Salmon LLP.

  • Religion or belief discrimination

    Type:
    Employment law manual

    Updated to include information on Kratzer v R+V Allgemeine Versicherung, in which the ECJ held that a person who applies for a job with the sole purpose of making an application for compensation for discrimination is not covered by EU discrimination law.

  • Religious discrimination awards 2015/16

    Type:
    Quick reference

    A table listing the religious discrimination awards made by employment tribunals in 2015/16.

  • Date:
    1 September 2016
    Type:
    Legal guidance

    The requirement to speak English at work and dress codes at work are policy areas where employers should tread carefully to avoid discrimination. Deborah Bulman, a senior associate from Burges Salmon LLP, considers recent legal controversies and gives tips on drafting employment policies.

  • Religion or belief: Passionate belief in efficient use of public money may constitute "philosophical belief"

    Date:
    25 August 2016
    Type:
    Law reports

    In Harron v Chief Constable of Dorset Police [2016] IRLR 481 EAT, the EAT allowed the employee's appeal against the ruling that his passionate belief in efficient use of public money did not constitute a "philosophical belief", on the basis that it was unclear if the tribunal had properly applied the necessary criteria. The issue was remitted to the tribunal for fresh consideration.

  • Belief in proper use of public money can be philosophical belief

    Date:
    9 August 2016
    Type:
    Law reports

    The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) ordered the employment tribunal to reconsider whether or not a claimant's philosophical belief in the "proper and efficient use of public money in the public sector" is protected under the Equality Act 2010. Kate Hodgkiss explains the EAT's decision.

  • Advocate General opinion: blanket ban on Muslim headscarves is unlawful

    Date:
    15 July 2016
    Type:
    Editor's choice

    The Advocate General's opinion in Bougnaoui and another v Micropole Univers is that a complete ban on Muslim women wearing a hijab while in contact with customers or clients is discriminatory.

  • Workplace ban on Muslim headscarves is discriminatory, suggests Advocate General

    Date:
    14 July 2016
    Type:
    Law reports

    The Advocate General has suggested that an employer cannot have a blanket ban on religious dress that prevents a Muslim woman from wearing an Islamic headscarf when in contact with clients.

  • Brexit and bullying at work

    Date:
    13 July 2016
    Type:
    Editor's choice

    The Brexit vote has elicited strong feelings on either side and employers need to ensure that their employees do not become victims of bullying and harassment as a result. We provide four examples of scenarios that could result in claims against employers.

  • Date:
    11 July 2016
    Type:
    Legal guidance

    Employers need to ensure that their employees do not become victims of bullying and harassment as a result of the Brexit vote. We present four examples of scenarios that might lead to claims against employers.