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Samira Achbita, Centrum voor gelijkheid van kansen en voor racismebestrijding v. G4S Secure Solutions NV, Case C-157/15, CJEU (Grand Chamber), 14 March 2017


The prohibition imposed by the private employer to his employees on wearing visible political, philosophical or religious symbols is not a form of direct discrimination.

Normative references

Council Directive 2000/78/EC of 27 November 2000


1. The desire for a company to display, in relations with both public and private sector customers, a policy of political, philosophical or religious neutrality must be considered legitimate, in particular where the employer involves in the pursuit of that aim only those workers who are required to come into contact with the employer’s customers. That wish is related to the freedom to conduct business, as recognised by Article 16 of the EU Charter.

2. The prohibition on wearing a headscarf is appropriate for the purpose of ensuring that a policy of neutrality is properly applied, provided that that policy is pursued in a consistent and systematic manner; and the measure is necessary on condition that it concerns only workers who interact with customers. Therefore, the referring court should ascertain whether, taking into account the inherent constraints to which the undertaking is subject, and without the employer being required to take on an additional burden, it would have been possible to offer a post not involving any visual contact with those customers.