Wearing of religious jewellery – discrimination

In the case of Eweida v British Airways plc (2008) BA insisted that a cross worn by an employee dealing with customers should be removed or concealed in line with a policy of ‘no visible jewellery’. 

The employee took a tribunal claim for indirect discrimination but on appeal it was held that such a claim would fail since there was no evidence that the requirement disadvantaged a group sharing the same belief as the employee.

The result draws attention to the difference between religion/belief discrimination and other aspects of illegal discrimination such as sex, race, age and sexual orientation.  Group disadvantage is not always obvious in the former but is more defined in the latter. 

Published: 12 Jan 2009


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