Heathrow Airport employee sacked for wearing a nose stud is reinstated

A Heathrow Airport worker who was sacked for wearing a nose stud, has won her job back.

Amrit Lalji, an employee of catering firm Eurest, was dismissed after refusing to remove the stud at a manager’s request. Lalji said she wore it as a mark of her Hindu faith, and had been doing so for more than a year prior to her dismissal.

Eurest had said jewellery and piercings were not allowed in the workplace due to health and safety reasons.

However, following a meeting between representatives of Eurest and workers’ union GMB yesterday, the catering firm agreed to reinstate Lalji.

A spokesperson for Eurest said: “In the course of this research, we have found that the rules relating to facial piercings are mandatory only in catering operations. Though this is not clear in the handbook, which is given to all employees, it is specific in the text of the Company’s Human Resources Directory, which is the primary source policy document.

“Since Mrs Lalji is not engaged in catering, her dismissal resulted from a misunderstanding of the rules, and is therefore unjustified.”

GMB organiser Tahir Bhatti, said: “GMB is pleased to have been able to assist Mrs Lalji in this matter, and welcomes Eurest’s decision that she is reinstated in her position immediately and without detriment.”

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