The Court of Appeal rejected the argument that an indirect discrimination claim can be based upon disadvantage to an individual – the act of discrimination must impact an identifiable section of a workforce and a claimant must be able to show this to be the case.
In this case, British Airways adopted a dress code forbidding staff from wearing visible jewelry at the neck. An employee, Mrs Eweida wore a silver cross on a chain on several days and refused to remove it when asked. She was sent home and subsequently brought a range of claims against British Airways. The Court of Appeal noted that if indirect discrimination was possible against a single employee's beliefs, the burden on employers to foresee and consider the vast range of beliefs held by every member of society would be impossible. It was also found that British Airway's dress code was a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim.
Eweida v British Airway