Bearing crosses in the workplace

U.K. moves to ban religious symbols but employers should accommodate them: Experts
By Amanda Silliker
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 04/09/2012

The British government is set to argue in a landmark court case that Christians do not have the right to openly wear a cross at work. The government will argue that because it is not a requirement of the Christian faith, employers can “ban the wearing of the cross and sack workers who insist on doing so,” according to a March article in the Telegraph.

The United Kingdom will present its position at the European Court in Strasbourg, France, where judges will hear a test case on religious freedom later this year. It will bring together four separate cases including that of Nadia Eweida, a British Airways employee who was suspended in 2006 for refusing to take off her cross, which the airline claimed breached its uniform code.

“What we are about is self-definition and whether a cross is a requirement or not, it’s a symbol by which people choose to define themselves as Christian,” said Rev. Karen Hamilton, general secretary of the Canadian Council of Churches in Toronto.