Against reasonable accommodation

Pitt, Gwyneth (2014) Against reasonable accommodation. In: Law and Religion Scholars Network (LARSN) Conference 2014; 12 May 2014, Cardiff, U.K.. (Unpublished)


In Eweida and others v UK the European Court of Human Rights held that there was a breach of the European Convention on Human Rights article 9 where an employee’s claim for indirect discrimination on grounds of religion or belief was unsuccessful in the Court of Appeal because she could not show that a group of people sharing her views had been disadvantaged by the employer’s action. This led to a legal note from the Equality and Human Rights Commission on the effects of the decisions and guidance on how employers should deal with employees who wanted modifications of their working conditions because of their religion or belief. This guidance could be taken to suggest that employers should do their best to accommodate employees’ religious requirements where reasonable to do so. The purpose of this paper is to argue that, on the contrary, the European Court of Human Rights’s decision in Eweida v UK does not require the concept of reasonable accommodation to be introduced into English law, and that there are good reasons for regarding such a development as undesirable.

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