Employers could have to justify bans on sporting non secular indicators, EU court docket says By Reuters



© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A girl walks previous a model sporting an hijab headband at a market within the Brussels district of Molenbeek, Belgium, August 14, 2016. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir

(This Oct. 13 story has been corrected to make clear the circumstances underneath which firms within the EU can ban non secular indicators, together with headscarves.)

By Foo Yun Chee

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – EU firms can ban the seen sporting of spiritual indicators, together with headscarves, if the foundations apply to all staff, the European Union’s prime court docket mentioned on Thursday, the newest ruling on a difficulty that has divided Europe for years.

Nevertheless, it mentioned that if one faith is successfully discriminated towards by the ban then firms could have to reveal to a court docket that there’s a professional want for it.

The ruling centred on a case regarding a Muslim girl who was instructed when she utilized to do a six-week work traineeship at a Belgian firm that she wouldn’t be allowed to put on a scarf.

The agency mentioned it has a neutrality rule, that means no head protecting is allowed on its premises, be it a cap, hat or scarf.

The lady took her grievance to a Belgian court docket, which subsequently sought recommendation from the Courtroom of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) in Luxembourg.

“The inner rule of an enterprise prohibiting the seen sporting of spiritual, philosophical or non secular indicators doesn’t represent direct discrimination whether it is utilized to all staff in a normal and undifferentiated method,” the CJEU judgment mentioned.

Nevertheless, the court docket mentioned an employer’s neutrality rule might be deemed not directly discriminatory if it leads to somebody of a selected faith or perception being put at an obstacle.

It mentioned that on this explicit dispute, it will be as much as a works tribunal in Brussels to find out if that was case.

The court docket mentioned a distinction in therapy of workers wouldn’t represent oblique discrimination if it had been objectively justified by a professional goal on the a part of the corporate, which the employer must reveal.

The CJEU final 12 months mentioned that EU firms may ban workers from sporting a scarf underneath sure situations, in the event that they wanted to take action to challenge a picture of neutrality to clients.

In Germany, headband bans for girls at work have been contentious for years, largely with regard to aspiring lecturers at state colleges and trainee judges.

France, dwelling to Europe’s largest Muslim minority, prohibited the sporting of Islamic headscarves in state colleges in 2004.

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