We provide Legal & HR advice to protect and support your business.

2 minutes reading time (373 words)

Religion and Belief Discrimination - Gareddu v London Underground Ltd

Religion Discrimination


Employers may need to accommodate the need for employees with particular religious beliefs to observe their own holidays and festivals. A failure to do so without good reason might amount to indirect discrimination.

However, in the case of Gareddu v London Underground Ltd it was held that this obligation did not extend to allowing an employee to take a five-week holiday in Sardinia. He is a practising Roman Catholic and had in previous years returned to his home for the month of August where he would spend time with his family and attend a number of religious festivals. The tribunal found that his claim - that he had a religious belief in the need to attend those festivals, was not made in good faith. While there was no doubt that he did attend the festivals on his extended visits home, the purpose of his visit was actually to spend time with his family, not to comply with any religious obligation.

EAT rejected his argument that the tribunal should have found in his favour because his attendance at the festivals was a manifestation of his religious belief and was therefore protected under Article 9 of the European Convention on Human Rights. While there was no doubt of the employee’s religious faith and the fact that his attendance at various religious festivals was a genuine manifestation of his beliefs, the issue was whether those beliefs required him to take a five week break from work in order to attend those festivals. The EAT did criticise the tribunal for confining their approach to whether the asserted need to take the break was made in good faith. It would have been better had they analysed the case from the point of view of whether the employer’s refusal to allow such a break put people who shared the employee’s beliefs at a particular disadvantage - and whether the refusal was justified. On balance, the EAT was satisfied that there was no error of law. Once it was found that the main reason for requesting the holiday was not the employee’s religious beliefs, it followed that there was no ‘particular disadvantage’ caused to him which could be said to have flowed from those beliefs. His appeal was dismissed.

Trade Union Act 2016
High profile employer equals higher sanctions- is ...

Call us 0800 8321554

Make an enquiry

Contact Kalra Legal Group

Please let us know your name.
Invalid Input
Please let us know your email address.
Please write a subject for your message.
Invalid Input
Please let us know your message.

What our clients say

“I am extremely grateful for the support I received from Anita during a very difficult time with a previous employer. It felt I was in a battle, but someone else was fighting that battle for me. Anita had my best interest at heart all the way, I really cannot praise her enough.”

R.B – Director at Software company

“I cannot thank you enough for all your efforts over the last 6 months working with our company to ensure we have taken all the necessary steps to protect our business and treat all our female staff equally.”

A.B - Managing Director of a Software Company

Contact us

Head Office
Suite 4, Ground Floor
Braywick House West, Windsor Road,
SL6 1DN 

4th Floor
86-90 Paul Street

Tel: 08008321554
Email: info@klglaw.co.uk

This website uses cookies to improve functionality and performance. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.