THE European Court of Justice has ruled employers are entitled to ban workers from wearing headscarves to work.

It ruled any ban on the ‘visible wearing of any political, philosophical or religious sign’ must be based on internal company rules requiring all employees to ‘dress neutrally’.

The case was brought by a Belgian receptionist fired for wearing a headscarf to work who claimed she was being discriminated against on the grounds of her religion.

The case was referred to the European Court of Justice for clarification on EU law.

Mike Damms, chief executive of the East Lancashire Chamber of Commerce, said: “It is my personal view that employees’ dress should be appropriate to their workplace.

“Most employers are sensitive to religious and cultural matters.”

Emma O’Leary, employment law consultant for the ELAS Group, said: “It’s vital any employers who wish to do this ensure they impose a blanket ban on all religious symbols, rather than one which discriminates against any one religion.”