XpertHR explores the different approaches taken by employers to dress and appearance in the workplace and the challenges involved in ensuring that rules are followed
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Updated to include information on the ECJ judgments in Achbita v G4S Secure Solutions NV and Bougnaoui v Micropole Univers, on employers preventing female staff from wearing Islamic headscarfs while working with clients.
The European Court of Justice has held that a direct religious discrimination claim in which an employee who wears an Islamic headscarf is dismissed to appease a customer cannot be defended on the basis of a "genuine and determining occupational requirement".
The European Court of Justice has held that a ban on religious dress that prevents a Muslim woman from wearing an Islamic headscarf when in contact with clients cannot be directly discriminatory, but is potentially indirectly discriminatory.
In Begum v Pedagogy Auras UK Ltd t/a Barley Lane Montessori Day Nursery EAT/0309/13, the EAT upheld an employment tribunal decision that there was no religious discrimination against a Muslim interviewee who was asked by the interviewer if she could wear religious clothing that did not present a trip hazard.
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.
The Advocate General has said that it is not direct religious discrimination for an employer with a policy of religious and political neutrality to prevent a Muslim employee from wearing an Islamic headscarf.
HR and legal information and guidance relating to dress codes and uniforms.