More on the veil

January 27th, 2016

Following Clive’s interesting and informative post just now, a word or two more. The highly fact sensitive approach adopted in R ota X v Y School is also apparent in the employment case of Azmi v Kirklees BC [2007] IRLR 434. Here a primary school teaching assistant wished to wear the niqab in the classroom. The school declined her request. Many of her pupils had English as a second language and the school believed that they should be able to see the teacher’s face as she spoke, so as to increase their proficiency. Applying the same sort of approach that Silber J applied in R ot a X v Y School, the employment tribunal rejected her claim that the school had discriminated against her on grounds of her religion or belief in declining to let her wear the niqab in the classroom. The Employment Appeal Tribunal upheld the ET’s decision.

Peter Oldham QC – Peter appeared in both Azmi v Kirklees BC and R ota X v Y School

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