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Heathrow worker

November 2013

A former Heathrow worker, who lost her job because of claims that she was ‘anti-Islam’, has challenged her unfair dismissal at an employment appeal tribunal.

In October, Nohad Halawi stood before the tribunal to get an official confirmation that she has employment rights — so that she can pursue an unfair dismissal grievance.

Ms Halawi, who worked at a beauty counter in Heathrow Terminal 3 for more than a decade, needs a decision from the tribunal to say that she has rights, in order for her to challenge her former employers.

According to Ms Halawi, she was unable to continue working there after management withdrew her airside pass, something which is required for anyone working at a duty free. This happened because, when she called a colleague ‘a man of God’, a Muslim colleague who overheard mistakenly thought she was criticising Islam. A fellow Muslim colleague started to spread rumours that she was anti-Muslim, which led to her airside pass being suspended and withdrawn.

Last June, a judge at an employment tribunal ruled that Nohad Halawi was not employed, despite significant evidence to the contrary. This meant that she effectively had no employment rights, even though her work was controlled by two companies, World Duty Free and Caroline South Associates.

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