A Court of Appeal case has widened the scope of the definition of 'employee' under anti-religious discrimination regulations. It is unlawful for an employer to discriminate in the arrangements under which it is determined who should be offered employment. The Court had to decide whether it was unlawful for the respondent to have an arbitration clause in a contract that provided that the arbitrator must be a member of a particular religious group.
The Court ruled that the regulations are intended to apply to all forms of employment in the broadest sense, and so the clause was in breach of the regulations. The Court also found that the restriction of the role to an individual of a certain religion did not meet a genuine occupational requirement.
The Court acknowledged that choosing the services of a self-employed person such as an arbitrator is not normally considered in the context of employment discrimination. However, this ruling highlights the need to be aware of the risks of restricting the selection of a seemingly self-employed individual on religious belief grounds.
Hashwani v Jivraj