C Of A – A Uniform Policy Banning A Visible Cross Was Not Indirect Religious Discrimination

19 February 2010

In Eweida v British Airways plc, the Court of Appeal ruled that an employee was not indirectly discriminated on the ground of her religion or belief where BA insisted that the cross on her necklace be concealed.

The Court confirmed that it is necessary to show evidence of disadvantage to a group, not just the employee bringing the claim. The tribunal had found that no one but the employee felt disadvantaged by BA’s policy and so her claim failed.

The Court held that, even if a claim could be based upon disadvantage to an individual, any disadvantage suffered by Ms Eweida alone could be justified as a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim and so her indirect discrimination claim would still have failed.