In Aurelie Fhima v. Travel Jigsaw Ltd, Jason Braier represented the successful claimant in her claim for indirect discrimination having been turned down for a job solely because following Jewish practice prevented her from working on Saturdays. The judge ruled that the travel company had discriminated against the claimant and awarded her more than £17,000 in damages and tribunal fees.
Ms Fhima applied for a job at the Respondent car rental company’s call centre which required the successful applicant to work shifts on 5 out of every 7 days. Ms Fhima secured an interview, at which she explained that as she observes Shabbat (the Jewish day of rest) she could not work on Saturdays, but was prepared to work every Sunday if need be. She was turned down for the role solely because she could not work on Saturdays. She asked the company to review the decision, pointing out that it was discriminatory, but when they refused she brought a discrimination claim.
The Tribunal found that the company’s requirement that she be available to work on Saturdays was not an objective justification for a policy that discriminated against religious Jews who could not work on that day. From a scheduling perspective the Saturday shifts could have been covered by other staff, with Ms Fhima being placed on shift on 5 of the other 6 days.
The Tribunal awarded the Claimant £7,500 for injury to feelings (including aggravated damages), almost £8,000 in loss of earnings, £1,200 in Tribunal fees plus interest.