The Employment Appeal Tribunal has upheld the Employment Tribunal's decision that the suspension of a teaching assistant for refusing an instruction not to wear a veil when assisting a male teacher in class in front of pupils was not discriminatory on the grounds of religion and belief.

The restriction considered lawful as a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim to request Mrs Azmi to remove her veil so as not to interfere unduly with her ability to communicate appropriately with students. Although this requirement put her at a particular disadvantage due to her religious beliefs and so could arguably be indirect discrimination, the aim of raising the educational achievements of the children in the school was legitimate.

Employers should act cautiously if faced with a similar situation as this decision was very dependant on the particular facts.