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

Job Support Scheme

The Government has been firm that there will be no extension to the current Job Retention Scheme which is due to end on 31 October. However yesterday saw the announcement of the Job Support Scheme.

View blog

Costs in the Employment Tribunal

At a time when Tribunal resources are being increasingly stretched, this case should act as a reminder for both parties.

View blog

Employment tribunal changes ahead

There is currently a backlog of employment tribunals – with the number of cases being dealt with rising by 26% since March, and expected to continue to rise with the end of the current Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme next month.

View blog

World Patient Safety Day - health worker safety: a priority for patient safety

The theme for this year’s World Patient Safety Day is “Health Worker Safety: A priority for Patient Safety” and whilst there are many different aspects to this in terms of both physical and psychological safety is vital to promote learning and improve patient safety.

View blog

mailing list sign up



Select which mailings you would like to receive from us.

Sign up