This is human rights law, international human rights law

Women are allowed to be sacked by employers for refusing to remove their hijabs, Europe’s highest court has ruled.

EU judges decreed that businesses can ban employees from wearing a headscarf under certain conditions if they need to do so to project an image of neutrality to customers.

They were asked to make a judgment on two German cases after two female employees – one a cashier and the other a support worker for children with special needs – were threatened with suspension for wearing the hijab.

“A prohibition on wearing any visible form of expression of political, philosophical or religious beliefs in the workplace may be justified by the employer’s need to present a neutral image towards customers or to prevent social disputes,” said the EU court.

Nope, no arguments from the left please. We are continually being told that we must – just must – obey international law on all things. This is international law, it’s international human rights law. So, we’ve got to obey it, right?

Interestingly, this also means that turbans, kippahs and so on are also potentially out…..

8 thoughts on “This is human rights law, international human rights law”

  1. Does this allow employers to ban religious garb retrospectively,, where the employee had previously been wearing a hijab / cross / kippah / turban without any objection?
    Or is it only a permitted condition of employment?

    ISTR a case of a medical student refusing to bare her arms on religious grounds and the courts upheld the right of the school to rusticate her because her decision posed a risk of infection.

    It seems to me only a clash of rights. Whose prevail, employer or employee?

  2. Exactly what has been bothering me, Philip. If it is a retrospective introduction, then the employee must be recompensed in some way.
    There was a case of a BA stewardess who was disciplined for wearing a cross despite a ban on religious symbols, her argument being that hijabs were permitted among cabin crew. She won eventually in the ECHR.

  3. I’m still waiting to be disciplined for not wearing a tie. Goes against my cultural beliefs. “Frivoulous piece of bodily adornment”.

  4. @jgh. I was criticised for not wearing a tie on a number of occasions. I claimed medical exemption because my brain was larger and more active than average and I’d been advised to not wear a tie or tight collar because it could restrict the blood supply.

    That was in the 80’s. Then it became fact…,deficit%20in%20blood%20supply%20remained.

  5. It should be allowed as a condition of employment where it can be justified, if you don’t like it don’t take the job. The neutrality exemption for social worker or teacher doesn’t sound unreasonable, similar where there are uniform codes like nurses, restrictions on knives in the workplace applies even for Sikhs etc. don’t really see a reason for a supermarket cashier though. Should also be some sort of dress code that prohibits garish items even if they are religious like not wearing a massive cross

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *