Aye Alhassani
Aye Alhassani was asked to remove her headscarf in order to work for SAS as a check-in staff member. Credit: Privat (left), Christine Olsson/TT (right)

Ombudsman: SAS headscarf policy not discriminatory

3:26 min

Sweden's discrimination watchdog has judged that Scandinavian Airlines' uniform policy, banning all customer-facing staff from wearing visible religious symbols, is "not discriminatory".

In April 2017, Aye Alhassani, who wears a headscarf, applied for a job with SAS at Arlanda Airport's check-in desk. In the final round of her application, she was told she would have to agree to remove her headscarf while at work. 

Now, the Equality Ombudsman has judged that this did not violate Swedish discrimination laws. However, the judgment is not legally binding, and the policy can still be challenged in court.

SAS' head of media relations, Fredrik Henriksson, told Radio Sweden that diversity was very important for the company, and that they did not see their uniform policy as targeting any specific group of people. "It is the same for all our employees," Henriksson said.

Our journalism is based on credibility and impartiality. Swedish Radio is independent and not affiliated to any political, religious, financial, public or private interests.
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