Belgium has sent a barrister to plead its case before the European Court of Justice (ECJ) to oppose the prohibition on wearing the veil at work. L’Echo is reporting this today (Friday).
The ECJ must give a ruling in relation to Samira A. She is a Muslim who was made redundant by the organisation G4S Secure Solutions as she refused to remove her veil during working hours. Consequently she has decided to take her former employer to court.
The Antwerp Labour Court and Antwerp’s Higher Labour Court said that she was wrong, respectively at first instance and on appeal. On the other hand, the ECJ’s Advocate-General this week considered that a business could prevent its workers from wearing the veil with a definite proviso. The proviso is that this prohibition should be based upon a general rule of the business concerned that all visible political, philosophical and religious symbols should be prohibited.
The Belgian Minister for Foreign Affairs sent a barrister to the ECJ to defend the stance taken by the Employment Administration, which stipulated that this was direct discrimination.
None of the ministers contacted by L’Echo wished to comment upon Belgum’s position in this case.