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Title: Religious discrimination in employment : a comparative analysis of the law in the UK, France and Germany, with reference to international and supranational law
Author: Fehr, Stephanie Simone
ISNI:       0000 0004 5353 2350
Awarding Body: University of Manchester
Current Institution: University of Manchester
Date of Award: 2014
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This thesis analyses religious discrimination in employment, using an applied comparison of the law in the UK, France and Germany. To this end, the thesis first explores national church-state relations, establishing potential links to religious discrimination at work. The investigation then moves on to the standards set by the Council of Europe and the European Union, against which the law in the UK, France and Germany will be measured against. The final chapter brings together the findings in an overall comparison of the national law, with particular emphasis on the role of church-state relations and impact on religious minorities. The original contribution of this thesis to knowledge lies in the assessment of the topic in the context of three jurisdictions, its interconnectedness with the ECHR and EU frameworks, using the framework of church-state relations. The thesis reveals and explains similarities and differences between the law in the three jurisdictions, as well as the effects on employees practising their religion and underlying attitudes that formed the law. After identifying substantive neutrality as a promising characteristic of church-state models, it was set as a benchmark for assessment throughout the thesis. Themes emerging from the research reflect significant differences regarding religious discrimination in employment in the UK, France and Germany. Particularly striking is the arguably deliberate targeting of, and clearly detrimental impact on religious minorities by means of indirectly discriminating law in France and Germany, as well as some directly discriminating provisions that were enacted in the course of the German ‘headscarf debate’. It is suggested, accordingly, that stereotypical assumptions about ‘otherness’ have influenced legislation, as well as case law, using church-state relations to underscore the decisive arguments. Due to its largely hypothetical nature, the assessment of the domestic laws’ compatibility with European international and supranational legal frameworks result in a number of cautious predictions. Widespread compliance appears fairly likely in relation to the law in the UK, whereas French and German law can be challenged in several regards. Finally, this research contributes proposals aiming at effective solutions for a variety of religious discrimination scenarios pertinent in the UK, French and German work environments.
Supervisor: Bell, Andrew Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: freedom of religion; religious discrimination; religious symbols; equality; law and religion; headscarf; intersectional discrimination