Hiring an employee: religion or belief discrimination

Businesses need to be aware that pursuing a particular line of enquiry at an interview may give rise to detriment claims under discrimination law. Ideally, all shortlisted candidates should be asked the same or similar questions to allow answers to be compared and to avoid the possibility of a discrimination claim.

The Employment Appeal Tribunal has recently upheld an employment tribunal’s judgment that a nursery did not discriminate against a job applicant when it made clear at interview that its uniform policy meant that any garment worn should not present a tripping hazard. This was not a provision, criterion or practice which indirectly discriminated against Muslim women who wore jilbabs (a garment which covers the body from neck to ankle).