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No, the European Court of Justice has not banned headscarves in the workplace

For topics that are more about faith, religion and religious organisations than anything else.
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Alan H
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Joined: July 3rd, 2007, 10:26 pm

No, the European Court of Justice has not banned headscarves in the workplace

#1 Postby Alan H » March 17th, 2017, 6:49 pm

A good explanation that clarifies the mis-reporting of this case: No, the European Court of Justice has not banned headscarves in the workplace
Alan Henness

What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU? Anyone? Hello? Hello?

"We're all in this together, but some are more in it than others."
— Me, with apologies to Napoleon

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coffee
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Joined: June 2nd, 2009, 4:53 pm

Re: No, the European Court of Justice has not banned headscarves in the workplace

#2 Postby coffee » March 19th, 2017, 9:54 am

Hi Alan,

I can't get my head around it either, can I ask you a question?

Where does this leave for humanist or atheist symbols, if an employer has no dress code?, Can we carry on wear our symbols?

Also, are we (humanists & atheists) also protected from discrimination too?

Are we being treated equal to religious people in the context of beliefs/religious symbols?


Please keep your answers simple if you can.

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Alan H
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Re: No, the European Court of Justice has not banned headscarves in the workplace

#3 Postby Alan H » March 19th, 2017, 11:02 pm

coffee wrote:Also, are we (humanists & atheists) also protected from discrimination too?
To answer this first, yes, human rights law includes beliefs and belief in this context includes atheism and humanism. That's not to say atheism or humanism is a belief or belief system (as some religionists maintain), just that it's given equal protection to religious beliefs under human rights and discrimination law.

Are we being treated equal to religious people in the context of beliefs/religious symbols?
I think, in general, yes, but I'm not sure how it would be decided what would constitute an atheist symbol for these purposes. A cross or a crucifix is clearly associated with Christianity and other religions have their own well-established symbols so there is probably little doubt about them. IIRC, there have been cases of Pastafarians being allowed to ware their colander on their heads because it was their symbol for things like driving licences but I'm not sure where that was or what law was used. The obvious humanist symbol might be the happy human symbol but it's certainly far from being universally recognised.

Where does this leave for humanist or atheist symbols, if an employer has no dress code?, Can we carry on wear our symbols?
I suspect you can wear whatever you like unless your employer has stated you are not permitted to wear it. Then, it would be a matter of whether it was direct discrimination or not. If your employer said you cannot wear a symbol of religion or belief, then I think, after this ruling, that would be construed as direct discrimination and would be unlawful. If your employer said you cannot wear jewellery, then that might be indirect discrimination if that was used to bar you from wearing a religious symbol. As the article says:
However, indirect discrimination is not always unlawful. It can in fact be lawful where the discriminatory requirement can be said to be a ‘genuine and determining occupational requirement, provided that the objective is legitimate and the requirement is proportionate.’
So if your employer could make out that requirement, then it would not be indirect discrimination either.

I think I've got that right! Does that help?
Alan Henness

What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU? Anyone? Hello? Hello?

"We're all in this together, but some are more in it than others."
— Me, with apologies to Napoleon

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coffee
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Re: No, the European Court of Justice has not banned headscarves in the workplace

#4 Postby coffee » March 20th, 2017, 8:57 am

That is very helpful, thank you very much Alan.

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Alan H
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Re: No, the European Court of Justice has not banned headscarves in the workplace

#5 Postby Alan H » March 21st, 2017, 1:49 pm

Not had time to read this yet, but looks interesting - it comes from a Professor of EU and Human Rights Law at the University of Essex: What is the point of minimum harmonization of fundamental rights? Some further reflections on the Achbita case.
Alan Henness

What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU? Anyone? Hello? Hello?

"We're all in this together, but some are more in it than others."
— Me, with apologies to Napoleon


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