0370 270 6000

already registered?

Please sign in with your existing account details.

need to register?

Register to access exclusive content, sign up to receive our updates and personalise your experience on brownejacobson.com.

Privacy statement - Terms and conditions

employers braced for landmark religious discrimination judgement

10 January 2013

On 15th January 2013 the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) will deliver its judgement on four cases where it is claimed UK law does not sufficiently protect an employees’ rights to freedom of religion and freedom from discrimination at work. The cases can be categorised as uniform cases and refusal cases.

Two of the cases demonstrate the balance to be struck between allowing an employer to set a uniform policy and the ability of an employee to manifest their religious or philosophical beliefs. The court could conclude that every uniform policy includes a reasonable adjustment type term to encourage employers to accommodate the wearing of a religious symbol unless there are fair grounds to refuse. Imposing absolute rules is unlikely to be attractive to the ECHR.

The court should have less difficulty with the two refusal cases. Both employees accepted jobs with duties that required them to serve the public without discrimination. As the employee’s beliefs inhibited them from doing so for the very reason made illegal by discrimination law, it seems likely that the court will uphold their dismissals.

However, if any of claims are upheld UK law might have to be changed.

related opinions

GP contracts: updated expectations and contracting issues

On 9 July NHS England and NHS Improvement issued a letter to primary medical contractors and commissioners updating them on service expectations and contracting issues.

View blog

COVID-19 child protection practice - four months in - lessons learned so far

In June 2020 the University of Birmingham published a research briefing exploring the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on child protection practice.

View blog

“Caution” is now the watchword when it comes to directly awarding public sectors contracts

The judicial review proceedings brought by the Good Law Project against the Department of Health and Social Care in relation to the £108m contract the Department awarded for PPE in April are about to shine a light on Regulation 32(2)(c) of the Public Contracts Regulations 2015.

View blog

Will there be a return of employment tribunal fees?

The Government is reportedly considering the reinstatement of tribunal fees in respect of employment claims.

View blog

mailing list sign up



Select which mailings you would like to receive from us.

Sign up