Phil Pepper comments on the ECJ decision to ban workers from wearing headscarves
, employment partner, comments on the decision by the European Court of Justice that bosses can ban workers from wearing headscarves – the first decision on the issue of women wearing Islamic headscarves at work.
“This is an interesting decision by the ECJ, but it will not mean that UK businesses will be able to ban religious clothing in the workplace overnight. It will not be that simple. A blanket ban on headscarves is not the answer and creates significant grey areas for many employers.
“Implementing dress neutrality policies is extremely difficult and in most cases, not realistic in the modern workplace. Any organisation that wants to adopt such a policy must give serious thought to how it would be implemented and received by employees. Get it wrong, and employers could easily end up on the wrong side of a discrimination case.
“It is likely that we may see a trend towards some leniency on dress policies in future, following this ruling.”