Religious Discrimination – latest case
The case of a British Airways employee who was banned from wearing a crucifix at work has lead the Prime Minister to state that the law may be changed to protect the right to wear religious symbols in the workplace.
During Prime Minister’s Question Time, David Cameron was asked about the case of Nadia Eweida, who is appealing to the European Court of Human Rights after she lost her religious discrimination claim at employment tribunal, which was then upheld by both the Employment Appeals Tribunal and the Court of Appeal in 2010. Eweida, who is a Pentecostal Christian, was sent home in 2006 from her check-in desk job at British Airways, after she refused to remove or cover up her crucifix necklace. BA said it was in breach of their uniform policy, but Eweida argued that other religious workers at the company were allowed to wear symbols of their religion, such as Sikh employees being allowed to wear turbans and Muslim workers wearing hijab head coverings. BA responded that the crucifix was not a requirement of her faith, in the same way as Muslim and Sikh items.
Mr Cameron said that he was fully support of employees’ right to wear religious symbols at work, stating ‘’I think it’s a vital freedom’’. He added that the law will be changed to make it clear that people can wear religious symbols at work and will give legal protection to them to do so.
Since Eweida’s case, BA have amended their uniform policy to allow a ‘faith or charity symbol’ to be worn with its uniform.