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This month we have an Interesting decision by the European Court of Justice on direct religion or belief discrimination:

In IX v WABE eV; MH Müller Handels GmbH v MJ, Case C-804/18 the European Court of Justice held that a prohibition on workers wearing any visible sign of political, philosophical or religious belief in the workplace does not in fact constitute direct religion or belief discrimination under the EU Equal Treatment Framework Directive (No.2000/78), provided that the rule is applied in a “general and undifferentiated” way.

The ECJ also held that the indirectly discriminatory effect of such a rule can be justified by an employer’s genuine business need to pursue a policy of political, philosophical and religious neutrality with regard to its customers or users, in order to take account of their legitimate wishes.

Whilst UK courts and tribunals are no longer bound by this decision it’s open to our Courts and Tribunals to have regard to it in any case where it’s deemed relevant.

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