EU Headscarf Cases

In further dress code news we have an EU case for you. Whilst we may not be a member for much longer, it seems the EU has given an important verdict on religious clothing in the work place.

In Achbita & Anor v G4S Secure Solutions, the Claimant was banned from wearing a headscarf due to a policy that all staff must wear neutral clothing. The ECJ have held that the policy was a blanket ban on any clothing/jewellery that manifested political or religious beliefs and therefore did not discriminate against the Claimant because she was Muslim.

This is similar to a case we covered recently that said a blanket ban on long length loose clothing – religious or otherwise – was fine to preserve health & safety and reduce tripping hazards. However, in Bougnaoui v Micropole the ECJ held that asking an employee to stop wearing a headscarf because a client objected was discriminatory. The lesson here is to have a policy in place before any issues arise.