The problem is that a day nursery in Britain would even want to hire a fully-disguised Muslim woman to take care of non-Muslim babies and toddlers. Nursery worker wannabe, Tamanna Begum, lost her legal battle to wear an Islamic garbage bag after it was deemed to be a health and safety risk…not to mention very frightening to small children.
UK Daily Mail (h/t Terry D) Tamanna Begum, a devout Sunni Muslim, wanted to wear a flowing, head-to-toe jilbab gown to her interview at Barley Lane Montessori Day Nursery in Ilford, Essex.
She was offered an apprenticeship, but the manager asked if she could wear a slightly shorter jilbab – one that did not extend over her feet – when she took up the role. Ms Begum, a devout Sunni Muslim, said that she would discuss the request with her family.
The nursery, which provides day care to children aged two months and over, was expecting Ms Begum to start working at the nursery and was surprised when she failed to show on her first day. (Consider yourself lucky)
Instead, she issued a tribunal claim for religious discrimination, saying that she ‘had been insulted’ by the request at her October 2011 interview. She claimed that it would be ‘against her morals and beliefs’ to wear a shorter garment and that she had suffered discrimination because of her ‘ethnic or cultural background’.
But the Employment Appeal Tribunal has now upheld a ruling by East London employment tribunal that the gown was ‘reasonably regarded as a tripping hazard’ by the nursery.
Judge Daniel Serota QC noted that Ms Begum was only asked to wear a shorter version of the jilbab she sported at interview rather than being banned from wearing the religious garment at all. He cited the original tribunal’s ruling: ‘At no point was she told that she could not wear a jilbab while working at the nursery.’
The original tribunal panel also correctly concluded that health and safety policy ‘applied equally to staff of all religions’ and ruled that the request was a proportionate means of ‘protecting the health and safety of staff and children.’
She refused to accept that her full-length dress posed a health and safety risk, saying she wore it while running and jumping outdoors.