Religious Freedom

The federal constitution enshrines religious freedom, whereby everyone is free to join or not join a religion and to practice it. This includes the right to wear a headscarf and to engage in religious practices such as fasting or prayer.

Protection of the legal personality

The employer is obliged to protect the personality of his/her employees, of which religious freedom is part. However, by virtue of his duty of fidelity, the employee must respect his contractual obligations and the directives of his employer. His religious freedom is limited when it affects the employer's overriding interests.

Veils and ostentatious signs

In principle, the employer is required to respect the employee's dress, particularly when it reflects his or her beliefs. However, the wearing of a veil or other ostentatious signs may lead to tensions between colleagues or with the company's customers.

A ban on the wearing of the veil will depend on the activity of the company and the function of the employee. In certain situations, the employer may be liable if he/she dismisses the employee for wearing the headscarf or if he/she unjustifiably refuses to allow an employee to wear the headscarf. 

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