Flexible working and the right to ask: a guide for employers in the UK

This article summarises the right to ask for flexible working in the UK and explains how discrimination law applies in this context. Introduction Employees seeking a better balance between the demands of work and personal life may seek a change in their working arrangements, for example, through part-time working, job-sharing or a change in working hours.   While there is no right to insist on working in…

The new gender pay gap proposals in Brazil: what they may mean for employers

Under new gender pay gap proposals in Brazil, employers would face heavier penalties for failing to pay men and women equally. This article explains. On 30 March, the Brazilian Senate approved a legislative bill applying a new sanction to cases where organisations have a gender pay gap without a non-discriminatory reason. If approved by the President, the bill would increase the penalties but will not…

Dismissing an employee for wearing a headscarf on ‘brand image’ grounds may be discrimination: a new ruling from France

An employee who was dismissed for refusing to remove her headscarf which her employer claimed was problematic for its brand image was a victim of discrimination, according to a recent ruling from the French Court of Cassation. Background On her return from parental leave, a saleswoman employed by a clothing retailer came to work wearing a headscarf that concealed her hair, ears and neck. The employer…

A guide to hair discrimination laws and their impact on employer grooming codes in the US

This review of legislation and case law on hair and hair styling in the workplace in the US looks at recent state and federal anti-discrimination initiatives and gives guidance to employers on how to adapt their dress code and grooming policies. Executive summary Many have said that the workplace tends to be society’s battlefield, where culture wars play out and emerging trends go up against long-established…

The employment year in review: combatting discrimination and harassment

This series of articles looks back thematically at the employment law year, incorporating contributions from Ius Laboris member firms across the alliance. The first part covers developments in protection from harassment and discrimination. The impact of #metoo continues to be felt around the globe. In June 2019, the International Labour Organisation (ILO) adopted a global convention on the elimination of violence and harassment in the world of…

Discrimination against part-time employees on duration of employment? The European Court gives its verdict

The European Court of Justice has ruled on whether the Part-Time Work Directive should be interpreted as precluding a national provision setting the maximum duration of a fixed-term employment relationship for part-time workers for a longer period than for full-time employees. It follows from the Part-Time Work Directive that employers in the EU must not treat part-time workers less favourably than full-time employees because of…

France: What is the law on age discrimination?

This article describes the current state of the law on age discrimination in the workplace in France, how claims are processed and the potential penalties for employers. French age discrimination legislation has been thrown into the spotlight in light of the most recent national measures on the employment of older workers (derived from a national inter-industry collective agreement and a government policy on the employment…

Russia: Current trends in court practice on discrimination claims

Russian courts are influenced by international labour standards, but, in practice have been reluctant to grant employees discrimination claims. However, they are now beginning to consider more cases of discrimination and are starting to be more inclined than in the past to uphold them. Background If an employee files a discrimination claim in Russia, what are their chances of prevailing? This is the question many…

European court of justice rules on discrimination based on belief

The ECJ has ruled on a Belgian case about whether an employer can justify having a neutral dress policy and on a French preliminary question on a similar theme. It confirms that a dress code aimed at neutrality can be used to justify discrimination based on belief. In the Belgian case, a female receptionist was employed by a Belgian business. The business had an internal…

U.K.: Discrimination by dresscode?

Employers introduce dress or ‚appearance‘ codes for various reasons, such as to protect health and safety or to portray a particular image. The new report, published jointly by the House of Commons Petitions Committee and the Equalities Committee, emphasises that employers should remain alert to potential discrimination (e.g. on grounds of sex, race, religion or age) that can be caused by some dress codes, as well…