ADVERTISING
 
Sunday, June 16   Sign in or Register
 
Evangelical Focus
 
Flecha
 
ADVERTISING
 
 
FOLLOW US ON
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Google +
  • Instagram
  • Soundcloud
 

Newsletter
Newsletter, sign up to receive all our News by email.
 
 

POLL
30 years of internet...
Will digital natives and the "Gen Z" use new technologies with a better ethical/values reflection than the previous generation?



SEE MORE POLLS
 

 
TOP 10 MOST VIEWED



Religious freedom
 

Employers can ban the wearing of religious symbols, EU court rules

According to the ECJ, “banning the visible wearing of any political, philosophical or religious sign does not constitute direct discrimination.”

SOURCES BBC AUTHOR Evangelical Focus LUXEMBOURG 14 MARCH 2017 18:20 h GMT+1
Employers can ban the wearing of religious symbols. /Getty

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) has ruled that employers are allowed to ban employees from wearing visible religious, political and philosophical symbols in the workplace.



The ban must be based on internal company rules, requiring all employees to "dress neutrally" and “it cannot be based on the wishes of a customer”, the ECJ explains.



 



“NO DIRECT DISCRIMINATION”



"An internal rule of an undertaking which prohibits the visible wearing of any political, philosophical or religious sign does not constitute direct discrimination”, the Court says in a statement.



"However, in the absence of such a rule, the willingness of an employer to take account of the wishes of a customer no longer to have the employer's services provided by a worker wearing an Islamic headscarf cannot be considered an occupational requirement that could rule out discrimination”, it adds.



 



BELGIUM AND FRANCE CASES



The ECJ's ruling was prompted by the cases of two female employees in Belgium and France, fired after they refused to remove their headscarves at work.



In the first case, a Belgian woman working as a receptionist for G4S Secure Solutions, which has a general ban on the wearing of visible religious or political symbols, was dismissed for refusing to remove her religious attire.



In the second, a French IT consultant was also let go when she refused to take off the headscarf after a client complained.



Both cases had gone to their respective Courts of Cassation, which sought guidance from the European court. The home courts must still rule on each case.



 



“A DOOR TO PREJUDICE”



John Dalhuisen, director of Amnesty International's Europe and Central Asia programme, said the ECJ's decision gave "greater leeway to employers to discriminate against women - and men - on the grounds of religious belief."



"The court did say that employers are not at liberty to pander to the prejudices of their clients. But by ruling that company policies can prohibit religious symbols on the grounds of neutrality, they have opened a backdoor to precisely such prejudice", he stated.



These fears were supported by the Collective Contre Islamophobie en France (CCIF), which said in a statement that the ban carried “serious consequences” and “directly questions the future of the concepts of discrimination and freedom in Europe.”



 



“NATIONAL COURTS MUST ASCERTAIN NEUTRALITY”



ECJ's statement points out that "an employer's desire to project an image of neutrality towards both its public and private sector customers is legitimate" - but national courts had to make sure this policy of neutrality had been applied equally to all employees.



In practice, such a policy must therefore also ban other religious insignia such as crucifixes, skullcaps and turbans, the court told the BBC.



To avoid claims of indirect discrimination, national courts must ascertain that people adhering to a particular religion or belief have not been put at a particular disadvantage, unless "objectively justified by a legitimate aim" achieved by means that are "appropriate and necessary."



For instance, the Belgian court ruling on Ms Achbita's case would need to ascertain whether it could have been possible to offer her another post not involving visual contact with customers.



 



“CUSTOMER´S SATISFACTION IS NOT A REASON”



A French court would have to determine whether the company in this case had dismissed Ms Bougnaoui solely to satisfy a customer, or in accordance with a wider internal prohibition on religious symbols, the court ruled.



The ruling comes a day before the Netherlands goes to the polls in a parliamentary election dominated by issues of immigration and integration.


 


POLL
Faith at the workplace
Do you agree with the EU Court of Justice that religious and political symbols can be banned at the workplace?
Yes.
17%
No.
47%
It depends on the type of symbol.
37%
This Poll is closed.
Number of votes: 115
SEE MORE POLLS
 
 


0
COMMENTS

    If you want to comment, or

 



 
 
YOUR ARE AT: - - Employers can ban the wearing of religious symbols, EU court rules
 
ADVERTISING
 
 
 
AUDIOS Audios
 
Julia Doxat-Purser: 25 years of EEA office in Brussels Julia Doxat-Purser: 25 years of EEA office in Brussels

An interview with the socio-political representative of the European Evangelical Alliance about how evangelical Christians work at the heart of the European Union.

 
Lars Dahle: Nominal Christianity, a mission field for the church Lars Dahle: Nominal Christianity, a mission field for the church

An interview with Lars Dahle, of the Steering Committee of the Lausanne Movement Global Consultation on Nominal Christianity held in Rome.

 
Testimony: Wildfires near Athens Testimony: Wildfires near Athens

Nico Spies, a Christian worker in Athens, gives details about the wildfires in Greece.

 
PICTURES Pictures
 
Glimpses of the ELF 2019 conference Glimpses of the ELF 2019 conference

Evangelical leaders from across Europe meet in Wisla (Poland) to network for mission in a range of fields. The vision is to renew the biblical church and evangelise Europe.

 
AEA Plaza opens to serve African evangelicals AEA Plaza opens to serve African evangelicals

After many years of labour, the Association of Evangelicals in Africa officially opened its new centre in Nairobi, Kenya. “Africa, your time has come!”, said the World Evangelical Alliance Secretary General Efraim Tendero.

 
‘Small churches, big potential for transformation’ ‘Small churches, big potential for transformation’

Photos of the Spanish Evangelical Alliance’s annual gathering “Idea 2019”, in Murcia. Politicians and church leaders discussed about the role of minorities in society.

 
VIDEO Video
 
Mercy Ships volunteers perform 100,000th free surgical procedure Mercy Ships volunteers perform 100,000th free surgical procedure

The milestone represents an important point in the nonprofit’s 40-year legacy.

 
What are the most important truths that Christians should seek to convey in a secular context? What are the most important truths that Christians should seek to convey in a secular context?

Espen Ottosen talks about the truths Christians should share with people who have little knowledge and/or many prejudices about Christian belief.  

 
A 50-metre high monument will encourage Britons to pray A 50-metre high monument will encourage Britons to pray

Thousands of visitors will have the chance to discover “the God who is alive who listens and answers prayers”.

 
John Lennox on Acts John Lennox on Acts

Professor John Lennox  examines the three supernatural events in the first three chapters of Acts: Jesus' ascension, the Holy Spirit's descent at Pentecost, and the healing of a lame man by the Apostles.

 
 
Follow us on Soundcloud
Follow us on YouTube
 
 
WE RECOMMEND
 
PARTNERS
 

 
AEE
EVANGELICAL FOCUS belongs to Areópago Protestante, linked to the Spanish Evangelical Alliance (AEE). AEE is member of the European
Evangelical Alliance and World Evangelical Alliance.
 

Opinions expressed are those of their respective contributors and do not necessarily represent the views of Evangelical Focus.