In Noah v Sarah Desrosiers t/a Wedge, Bushra Noah, a Muslim hairdresser, succeeded in her claim that she had been indirectly discriminated against on grounds of religion as a result of her employer’s requirement that she remove her headscarf while at work. The tribunal found that the requirement for hairdressers to have their own hair visible was not a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim.
The case of Highland Council v TGWU serves as a reminder that, for the purposes of the statutory grievance procedure, collective grievances must concern action directed at particular employees rather than a group of employees seeking to achieve a collective goal.
In Allen v GMB the Court of Appeal held that, while the GMB was trying to balance the interests of all of its members (who had conflicting interests) when negotiating a settlement of the claimants’ equal pay claims, its tactics in persuading the claimants to accept the settlement offered were not a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim. The claimants had, therefore, suffered indirect discrimination.
The Court of Appeal, in Johns v Solent, has confirmed that all cases which argue that the default retirement case is incompatible with the Equal Treatment Framework Directive should be stayed pending the outcome of the Heyday challenge.