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Security firm did not discriminate against Muslim employee

Posted: 18th July 2011   In: Business Employment

A tribunal has held that a company did not discriminate against a Muslim security guard when it refused to allow him time off to attend Friday lunchtime prayers at a local mosque.

The guard was employed by the company to provide security services at a site belonging to one of its clients. The client required that all security and safety staff should remain on site for the full duration of their shift.

An issue arose when the guard asked for permission to attend lunchtime prayers on Fridays. The company refused because of the client’s requirement that staff should remain on site.

The company offered to allow the guard to work on Saturday or Sunday instead of Fridays but he refused. The tribunal rejected the guard’s claim of religious discrimination. It said that the company would have suffered financial penalties if it had allowed him to leave the site and may have even lost the contract.

It’s refusal to allow the guard to attend the prayer session was therefore a proportionate means of achieving its legitimate aim of meeting the operational needs of its business.

That decision has now been upheld by the Employment Appeal Tribunal.

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