Denied work for "no beards" policy, Singh won £7,000 in compensation

...refused to offer work to Raman Sethi, who has a beard, due to “grooming” standards from its five-star clients, an emp...

A Sikh job hunter who was denied work at Claridge's because of a strict "no beards" policy has won £7,000 in compensation. 

Bosses at Elements Personnel Services Ltd refused to offer work to Raman Sethi, who has a beard, due to “grooming” standards from its five-star clients, an employment tribunal heard.

The agency had in the past received complaints from the hotels, including an email from Claridge's in April 2018, which read: "No pony tails, no facial hair...please ensure none of that here at Claridge's," said Judge Holly Stout.

But Judge Stout found that the hotels had not been consulted by the agency over whether they would make an exception on religious grounds and awarded him £7,102.17 compensation, including £5,000 for "injury to feelings"...

...After being turned down by Elements, Mr Sethi has found shifts working at the five-star Savoy through another agency. 

Speaking after the ruling, Mr Sethi's barrister, Mukhtiar Singh, said: "He was deeply hurt by the decision not to recruit him and, like many Sikhs, felt duty bound to fight for justice.

"The case is important because it shows that a no-beard policy will be subject to close scrutiny by the tribunals and courts.” 

 Mr Singh added that he was donating his fee for the case to the aid group, Khalsa Aid.

A spokesperson for Claridge’s, The Connaught and The Berkeley said they were equal opportunity employers: "We have a number of full time and agency staff with facial hair – both for religious and personal reasons. 

"We also have a number of staff who wear hijabs, turbans and other religious clothing in the workplace." 

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