0370 270 6000

Religious discrimination and working on Sundays

11 January 2013

The EAT (Employment Appeal Tribunal) has rejected an appeal by an employee that she had been discriminated against on grounds of her religion, Christianity, in being required to work on Sundays.

Mrs Mba’s contract of employment required her to work on Sundays but she felt obliged to abstain from this. Mrs Mba failed in her claim for constructive dismissal and indirect discrimination on grounds of religion and belief in the Employment Tribunal and appealed to the EAT.

 The EAT held that the requirement by the employer for Mrs Mba to work on Sundays was objectively justified and therefore not indirect discrimination. The employer had relied on reasons including that they required an appropriate gender balance and seniority mix on each shift; fair treatment of staff and a cost-effective service in view of budgetary constraints.

 However, the EAT emphasised that the judgment was not a ‘ringing endorsement’ of an individual’s right not to work on Sunday or vice versa, and that each case must depend on its own facts.

Related opinions

Covid-19 rent arrears – the questions that remain

The Government appears set to announce plans on ‘living with Covid to restore freedom’. With the success of the retail and hospitality sector key to recovery, what protections will be on offer to tenants to deal with Covid-19 rent arrears?

View blog

Handing back an empty shell of a building did not prevent a tenant from exercising a break clause

Break rights have proved a fertile source of litigation over the last few years. More often than not, tenants have found themselves on the wrong end of the decisions. However, a Court of Appeal decision yesterday has bucked that trend.

View blog

Relief for landlords as the Court of Appeal confirms that leases have been validly contracted out

One of the requirements for tenants to contract out of the security of tenure regime contained in the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954 is that they make a simple or statutory declaration before entering into the lease.

View blog

Summary judgment stayed where part 26A restructuring plan pending

Landlords should reconsider summary judgment if a Part 26A restructuring plan is pending.

View blog

Mailing list sign up

Select which mailings you would like to receive from us.

Sign up