Marks & Spencer apologises for Muslim staff’s refusal to sell alcohol, pork
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Last Updated: Monday, December 23, 2013, 17:39
  
Zee Media Bureau

London: American retailer Marks & Spencer (M&S) has apologised for one of its Muslim staff’s refusal to serve alcohol to a customer after a Facebook page was created to register the outrage of its customers, reports said.

More than 8,000 people have signed up to a Facebook page calling for a boycott of the chain after an "extremely apologetic" Muslim checkout worker told a customer they would have to wait for another employee to sell them a bottle of champagne.

A spokesperson for M&S said that they try to assign suitable roles for employees, whose religious beliefs restrict handling certain food or drinks, under their inclusive policy for customers as well as employees, the BBC reported.

M&S, which is Britain's biggest clothing retailer as well as selling food and home-ware, said that when employees have religious beliefs that restrict what foods or drinks they can handle it tries to place them in a "suitable role".

However, this policy was not followed in the case reported wherein the customer was denied of a bottle of champagne in an M&S store, he said.

Some Muslims refuse to handle alcohol at all as its consumption is forbidden in Islam, the report added.

The row highlighted differences among British retailers' policies on whether staff should be allowed to refuse to sell certain products on religious grounds.

Like M&S, supermarket chains Asda, Morrisons and Tesco said Muslim staff would not have to work on the tills if they objected to handling specific products.

With Agency Inputs


First Published: Monday, December 23, 2013, 17:39


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