An employee, who was turned down for a job because she followed a Jewish practice preventing her from working Saturdays, has been successful in her claim for indirect discrimination on the grounds of her religious belief.
Employers must ensure that they do not adopt selection criteria, policies or other rules and procedures that would place employees or job applicants of a particular religion or belief at a disadvantage. The only exception is if the employer can show that they are justified in applying such a practice, which is not always easy to do.
In the recent case of Aurelie Fhima v Travel Jigsaw Ltd, Ms Fhima applied for a job with Travel Jigsaw. The post would have required her to work five out of every seven days.
During her interview, Ms Fhima explained that she observed Shabbat (the Jewish day of rest) and therefore, could not work Saturdays. She did however offer to work every Sunday as an alternative to requiring her to work a Saturday.