The principle of “exclusive neutrality” applies to employees of STIB, the largest employer in Brussels. This principle states that it is prohibited to wear a sign indicating a religious belief, political belief, or philosophical philosophy. On May 25, a labor court sentenced STIB to a fine of 50,000 euros for failing to recruit a woman wearing a headscarf on two occasions. While she had all the necessary competencies.
STIB has always been a pioneer in diversity. “Because we want to continue on this path, the management committee decided not to appeal the labor court’s decision, despite its shortcomings,” says Merlin Erbauer, chair of the STIB Management Committee.
The review of the Brussels Public Transport Company’s policy of neutrality will be through a participatory process. In the long term, the intent is to allow certain religious symbols to be worn in the company, reports the management committee. At the same time, STIB wants to ensure that the service provided to the public remains neutral and that freedom of expression for all employees in the workplace is guaranteed. The current rules remain in effect until the end of the sharing process.
A government commissioner reserved the right to suspend the decision within four days and place it on the government table.
N-VA and MR have already responded strongly with Cieltje Van Achter and Georges-Louis Bouchez, respectively. They both call the decision “incomprehensible.”