Drink incentive is direct line to tribunal for firm

A Muslim sales executive who was offered alcohol as a sales incentive is suing his employer for religious discrimination.

In the first case of its kind under the new anti-discrimination laws, Imran Khan is claiming that Direct Line insurance offered no alternative to wine as a reward for selling pet and household insurance policies.

Khan said offering alcohol, which Muslims are forbidden to drink, put him at a disadvantage to his colleagues. He is claiming for “hurt feelings” under the Employment Equality (Religion or Belief) Regulations 2003.

At a tribunal hearing, Direct Line team leader Louise Cummings said: “It’s very difficult choosing a prize that everyone is happy with.”

Direct Line has argued that it was not singling out Khan because of his religion, as the wine would be equally unsuitable for any teetotal workers.

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