Hello, my name is ***** ***** it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today.
Is this company based in the UK please?
The organisation is based in the UK but has offices in the US texas, New York and Iran, Germany, France, Abu dahbi.
the female manager is muslim
does that help? she also has 6 years service
Are you there?
You are correct that at first glance this could amount to religious or race discrimination and the employee could try and argue that too. However, the Equality Act does provide a defence to alleged acts of these types of discrimination. The main defence is that there is an occupational requirement for people of certain religions to be employed in the post. It enables an employer, in limited circumstances, to stipulate that, because of the nature of the job in question, only people of a particular religion or belief can do the job. This has limited application and you must show that preferring someone over another due to their race or religion is a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim. Whilst some reasons may not be strong enough, such as women not getting on with men, if the employee’s health and safety is going to be put at risk, then the company will also have further duties under health and safety regulations to ensure that the employee is not unnecessarily exposed to any risks, especially when they are serious enough that their life could be in danger.
What is the health and safety legislation that would cover us in making this decision?
Could the employee still have a claim under the equality act even though we acted in a reasonable maner ie proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim
Should we be offering anything in terms of compensation as the salary and benefits would have been much higher had she got the job?
it is general common law, and the Health & Safety at Work Act. There is nothing topping the employee from making a claim but they need to prove you were acting in a discriminatory manner and you had no defence but the above defences are what you can raise to argue your decision was correct. You are not obliged to offer any compensation, but if you think that this may keep them happy and avoid any legal issues then you can consider it
Please let me know if this has answered your original question or if you need me to clarify anything else for you in relation to this? Thanks