Ideological neutrality in the workplace

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debatepeer-review

Authors

Colleges, School and Institutes

External organisations

  • University of Cambridge

Abstract

This note assesses the decisions of the Court of Justice of the European Union in Achbita v G4S Secure Solutions NV and Bougnaoui v Micropole SA, the first cases dealing with religious discrimination under the Equal Treatment Directive 2000/43. Both cases concerned Muslim women wishing to express their religious beliefs by wearing an Islamic headscarf while working in a private undertaking. The Court held that the employees’ dismissal could not be justified by reference to clients’ prejudices against the headscarf. However, dismissal could be justified if pursued on the basis of a corporate policy of ideological neutrality which prohibited all visible religious, political and philosophical symbols. This note criticises the latter part of the Court's decision for, inter alia, placing too much weight on an employer's freedom to run its business in spite of the grave effects this has on employees’ fundamental right to manifest their beliefs at work.

Bibliographic note

Embargo Lift Date: 2018-12-07

Details

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)337-360
JournalModern Law Review
Volume81
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 12 Mar 2018

Keywords

  • religion and belief, Islamic scarf, religious symbol, indirect discrimination, employment law, European Union law