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Important case of Nohad Halawi in Court of Appeal on Wednesday

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Christian Legal Centre client, Nohad Halawi, who was dismissed from her job at Heathrow airport after her comments were incorrectly perceived by Muslim colleagues as being offensive to Islam, was having her case heard by the Court of Appeal today (25th June).

Nohad Halawi, who worked for 13 years in a duty free shop at Heathrow's Terminal 3, had defended a Christian employee who was mocked by fellow Muslim workers for wearing a cross. After the Muslim colleagues claimed that she had acted in an ‘anti-Islam’ manner, the management took away her ‘airside’ pass which meant that she was no longer allowed to work at the airport.

Protection from discrimination 

Mrs Halawi claimed unfair dismissal and religious discrimination at an Employment Tribunal in 2012 but it ruled that she had no protection under employment law as she was not “technically employed”, despite significant evidence to the contrary.  

She contacted the Christian Legal Centre (CLC) for support and instructed leading human rights barrister, Paul Diamond, to represent her. At an Employment Appeal Tribunal in October last year, Mr Diamond argued that Mrs Halawi was an employee under European law, and as such, should be protected from discrimination.

He also argued that the Employment Tribunal should have considered the relationship which existed between Mrs Halawi and World Duty Free and Caroline South Associates, who controlled her working arrangements, as the basis for allowing her to be deemed an ‘employee’, or a ‘worker’ under European law. However, the Employment Appeal Tribunal dismissed the case and refused to accept Nohad's status as an employee.

Clear case of injustice

Andrea Williams, CEO of the Christian Legal Centre said: "This is another example of a climate of fear that is operating in the workplace; discussions around the nature of Islam, perceived as offensive, are leading to these sorts of decisions and people losing their jobs."

Read more about her case here >

Watch a film interview with Nohad Halawi here >  


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