The Court of Appeal has dismissed an appeal from an employee who was Christian and claimed indirect discrimination on the grounds of religious belief by being required to work Sundays. The requirement was found to be potentially discriminatory but on this occasion the employer could justify the requirement to work on Sundays.
The employer ran a care home which required staff to work a rota across all seven days including Sundays so staff could be on duty any day of the week. The employee had signed a contract requiring her to work on weekends but for a couple of years there was a non-contractual arrangement whereby the employer did not roster her on a Sunday. This could not continue indefinitely so she was asked to work Sundays. The care home needed continuity of staff so could not hire in temporary labour. The saving grace for the employer on this occasion was that there was no viable or practicable alternative to running a care home effectively without requiring the employee to work Sundays.