Religious symbols and clothing in the workplace: balancing the respective rights of employees and employersMurdoch University Law Review (2013)
The right to wear religious clothing and symbols in the workplace is often a contentious issue and one that requires balancing the individual interests of employees and the interests of the employer. The article examines the European Court of Human Rights decision in the case of Eweida and Others v The United Kingdom (15 January 2013) in which the right of two employees to visibly wear a Christian cross at work was decided. The article further considers the issue within the Australian workplace context in which the principles applied in the Eweida case find relevant application. The case demonstrates the centrality of the proportionality test in balancing competing rights and interests, and the legitimate grounds upon which rights may be justifiably limited in the workplace. The decision also highlights the need for employers to have appropriate workplace uniform policies or dress codes that reasonably accommodate employees’ rights to manifest their religious beliefs in the workplace through religious clothing and symbols and to avoid potentially discriminatory actions.
Citation InformationSquelch, J. (2013). Religious symbols and clothing in the workplace: balancing the respective rights of employees and employers. Murdoch University Law Review, 20(2), 38-57