Eweida v British Airways Plc: CA 12 Feb 2010

The court was asked whether, by adopting a staff dress code which forbade the wearing of visible neck adornment and so prevented the appellant, a Christian, from wearing with her uniform a small, visible cross, British Airways (BA) indirectly discriminated against her on grounds of religion or belief.
Held: There was no requirement that a Christian should wear an external sign of her adherence to the faith. It was therefore not indirect discrimination to disallow her from wearing such. The employee’s appeal was dismissed. The way in which equality laws have for many years sought to deal with the discriminatory impact of apparently neutral requirements is by seeing, first, whether an identifiable group is adversely affected, whether actually or potentially, by some ostensibly neutral requirement and then whether the claimant has in fact been disadvantaged by it. There was no indication that the Directive was intended it to be suficient for one claimant to assert disadvantage. Neither Ms Eweida nor any witness on her behalf suggested that the visible wearing of a cross was more than a personal preference on her part. There was no suggestion that her religious belief, however profound, called for it.

Lord Justice Sedley, Lord Justice Carnwath and Lady Justice Smit
[2010] EWCA Civ 80, [2010] ICR 890, [2010] IRLR 322
Bailii, Times
Employment Equality (Religion or Belief) Regulations 2003, European Convention on Human Rights 9
England and Wales
At EATEweida v British Airways Plc EAT 20-Nov-2008
The claimant was a Christian who objected to BA’s policy of requiring jewellery to be worn concealed by the uniform. There were exceptions for those whose religions . .
See Also (Costs)Eweida v British Airways plc CA 16-Oct-2009
Appeal against refusal of protective costs order. The claimant said that she had been discriminated against when she was refused permission to wear her christian cross with her uniform. . .
CitedKalac v Turkey ECHR 1-Jul-1997
In exercising his freedom to manifest his beliefs an individual ‘may need to take his specific situation into account.’ ‘The Commission recalls that the expression ‘in accordance with the law’, within the meaning of Article 9(2), requires first that . .
CitedSecretary of State for Trade and Industry v Rutherford and others HL 3-May-2006
The claimant sought to establish that as a male employee, he had suffered sex discrimination in that he lost rights to redundancy pay after the age of retirement where a woman might not.
Held: The appeal was dismised. There were very few . .
CitedBegum (otherwise SB), Regina (on the Application of) v Denbigh High School HL 22-Mar-2006
The student, a Muslim wished to wear a full Islamic dress, the jilbab, but this was not consistent with the school’s uniform policy. She complained that this interfered with her right to express her religion.
Held: The school’s appeal . .

Cited by:
CitedJohns and Another, Regina (on The Application of) v Derby City Council and Another Admn 28-Feb-2011
The claimants had acted as foster carers for several years, but challenged a potential decision to discontinue that when, as committed Christians, they refused to sign to agree to treat without differentiation any child brought to them who might be . .
CitedHall and Another v Bull and Another Misc 4-Jan-2011
(Bristol County Court) The claimants, homosexual partners in a civil partnership, sought damages after being refused a stay at the bed and breakfast hotel operated by the defendants, who said that this was their home, and that they were committed . .
At CAEweida And Chaplin v The United Kingdom ECHR 12-Apr-2011
Statement of Facts and questions to the parties . .
CitedNational Secular Society and Another, Regina (on The Application of) v Bideford Town Council Admn 10-Feb-2012
The claimant challenged the placing of a prayer on the agenda of the respondent’s meetings.
Held: The claim succeeded. The placing of such elements on the Agenda was outside the powers given to the Council, and the action was ultra vires: . .
At CAEweida And Others v The United Kingdom ECHR 15-Jan-2013
The named claimant had been employed by British Airways. She was a committed Christian and wished to wear a small crucifix on a chain around her neck. This breached the then dress code and she was dismissed. Her appeals had failed. Other claimants . .
At CAEweida And Others v The United Kingdom ECHR 15-Jan-2013
ECHR Article 9-1
Manifest religion or belief
Disciplinary measures against employees for wearing religious symbols (cross) at work or refusing to perform duties they considered incompatible with their . .
CitedHarron v Dorset Police EAT 12-Jan-2016
The Claimant had a belief (which the Employment Tribunal thought genuine) that public service was improperly wasteful of money. He . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Employment, Discrimination, Human Rights

Updated: 11 November 2021; Ref: scu.396738