G4S wins religious wear ruling
G4S has won a contentious European ruling that establishes businesses may prohibit staff from wearing religious clothing.
The ruling, reported in the Guardian and elsewhere, is going to be perceived as aimed primarily at the headscarves worn by Muslim women. The European court of justice in Luxembourg’s exact ruling was that they can be banned but only as part of an overall ban on religious items, otherwise it becomes discriminatory.
This is likely, we suggest, to re-open a can of worms from half a decade ago in which a UK court established that it was reasonable to ban the wearing of a cross, arguably a more subtle but no less religious symbol.
We await the backlash from people who want to wear a cross, a Star of David or any other piece of jewellery that might indicate their faith - this one is likely to rumble on for a while.