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Recent European court judgments have suggested that employers can justify a ban on employees wearing certain religious items. But what do these cases mean for employers drawing up dress codes and will Brexit affect how they are interpreted in future?
Two recent European Court of Justice (ECJ) judgments shed light on attempts to reconcile freedom of religious expression on the part of employees with the right of employers to impose dress codes.
Both cases involved Muslim women who lost their jobs because of their insistence on wearing headscarves in the workplace.
Achbita v G4S Secure Solutions took place in Belgium, while Bougnaoui v Micropole was a French case.
In the former, internal rules at G4S stated that employees weren’t allowed to wear symbols of political, religious or philosophical significance in the workplace.
Bougnaoui was less clear cut in that the employer, an IT company called Micropole, asked the woman in question to stop wearing her headscarf following a complaint from a client.