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Last Updated: Monday, 17 September 2007, 18:07 GMT 19:07 UK
Heathrow worker sacked over stud
Amrit Lalji
Amrit Lalji wears the stud as part of her Hindu faith
A Heathrow Airport worker has been dismissed for wearing a nose stud.

Amrit Lalji, 40, of Stanmore, north-west London, who worked for caterers Eurest, said she wore the tiny piercing as a mark of her Hindu faith.

She had worn the stud at work for more than a year until a manager told her to remove it. She refused and was suspended, and subsequently sacked.

Eurest said for health and safety reasons jewellery and piercings were not allowed at work.

Mrs Lalji said she had produced a letter from her local Hindu community to support her case.

Work hazard

"I feel I am being discriminated against," she said. "It is only a tiny stud and I wear it as part of my Hindu faith."

Ms Lalji's union, GMB, said it would hold talks with her employer to try to have her reinstated immediately.

Jewellery can harbour bacteria, create a hazard when working with machinery and find its way into the food people eat
Eurest statement

Union official Tahir Bhatti said: "The company always knew she would not remove the nose stud and clearly had no problem with this until a manager complained."

A statement by Eurest said Mrs Lalji had been advised of company policy "on a number of occasions".

"Jewellery can harbour bacteria, create a hazard when working with machinery and find its way into the food people eat," it said.

"Mrs Lalji's decision not to return to work without the nose stud contravenes company rules and regulations, and she was dismissed."

Last year, Heathrow worker Nadia Eweida was suspended by British Airways for wearing a Christian cross but later reinstated following condemnation by clerics and politicians.


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