What makes it religious discrimination?

Gareddu v London Underground LTD Ltd ET/2201116/2015

Turning down a long holiday request for an employee, who wanted the time off for religious reasons is not religious discrimination. If the religious events are not obligatory within the faith and/or there is a legitimate business need an employer can refuse the request.


Mr Gareddu is employed by the London underground. From 2009 to 2013 they allowed him to take five consecutive weeks’ holiday during the month of August.

In late 2014 Mr Gareddu submitted the same request. The line manager replied stating that he could take 3 weeks leave but not the full 5 weeks, due to them operating within a small team and that other members of the team would like time off during that period.

Mr Gareddu raised a grievance stating that the annual leave was to spend time attending 17 religious festivals and stressed that family was another very important element as to why he requested the time off.

Mr Gareddu’s grievance was rejected and his appeal also failed.

Mr Gareddu then claimed indirect religious discrimination in an employment tribunal.

The tribunal accepted that there was a link between religious belief and individual festivals. However they said that there was an insufficient connection in this particular case and that the 5 week period that Mr Gareddu wanted off work was related more towards family arrangements.

So the employment tribunal rejected his claim.

Source – XpertHR