EHRC consults on proposed legal intervention in religious discrimination cases

The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) has been granted permission to intervene in four religious discrimination cases that are currently before the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR). 

The EHRC has issued a consultation seeking views on its proposed submission to the ECHR on the human rights elements of Eweida & Chaplin v United Kingdom (application numbers 48420/10 and 59842/10) and Ladele & McFarlane v United Kingdom (application numbers 51671/10 and 36516/10). According to the EHRC, the cases represent an "unprecedented opportunity to clarify the legal principles that should apply to claims of religious discrimination". 

The EHRC's press release states that it: "will argue that the way existing human rights and equality law has been interpreted by judges is insufficient to protect freedom of religion or belief". 

The EHRC is also consulting on whether or not the concept of reasonable adjustments, which is currently restricted to disability discrimination law, has any useful practical application in cases concerning the manifestation of religion or belief. 

Responses to the consultation are requested by 5 September 2011. 


The XpertHR employment law manual provides detailed legal guidance on religion or belief discrimination and the Human Rights Act 1998

The XpertHR case reports section includes the following: Eweida v British Airways Plc [2010] IRLR 322 CA, Ladele v London Borough of Islington [2009] EWCA Civ 1357 CA, McFarlane v Relate Avon Ltd [2010] IRLR 872 CA

The XpertHR good practice manual covers religion and belief in the workplace and identifies the steps that employers can take to address associated issues fairly, while supporting the needs of the business.