Freedom of religion versus freedom of business management in Spain: Spanish Case-law analyzed in the light of “reasonable accommodation” figure according to Canadian Case-law

Lola Borges Blázquez


The Canadian case-law figure of reasonable accommodation has not found a favourable reception in the Spanish Case-law. Proof of this is the STC 19/1985 judgement of the Spanish Constitutional Court, which affirms that the giving of a different weekly rest because of a religious belief would be a reasonable exception, but it is not imperative for the entrepreneur to grant it. Accommodation is not compulsory neither for Canadian courts, since this obligation to accommodate must be within the limits of “reasonability”. Even if several justified reasons can be put forward to refuse the accommodation, Canadian courts opt for the imposition of this legal duty to reconcile religious practice demands with labour market needs. Taking into consideration that accommodation does not happen spontaneously and that bona fide in labour relations is not enough, it is advisable to look for good practices in comparative Law to deal with this kind of conflicts.

Published online: 11 December 2017


reasonable accommodation; religious minorities; real equality; indirect discrimination; diversity management

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