- Ban on religious signs justifiable by the aim of projecting neutral image (Achbita v G4S)
- Original news
- What is the impact of this judgment?
- What is the relevant background law?
- Direct discrimination
- Indirect discrimination
- Dress codes
- What were the facts? What question did the Belgian courts refer to the ECJ?
- What was the ECJ Advocate General's Opinion?
- What did the ECJ decide in relation to whether the ban amounted to direct discrimination?
- What guidance did the ECJ provide in relation to indirect discrimination?
- Case details
Employment analysis: An employer’s internal rule which prohibits the visible wearing of any political, philosophical or religious sign (including an Islamic headscarf) does not constitute direct discrimination under the Equal Treatment Framework Directive, according to the European Court of Justice. However, it may amount to indirect discrimination if that apparently neutral obligation puts persons adhering to a particular religion or belief at a particular disadvantage (eg Muslim women) unless the rule can be justified as an appropriate and necessary way of achieving a legitimate aim. An employer’s desire to have workers who come into contact with customers projecting an image of neutrality can be such a legitimate aim.
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