A European court ruling that allowed companies to ban Muslim employees from wearing headscarves does not automatically apply in Britain, lawyers warned last night.

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled yesterday that such a ban does not constitute "direct discrimination" if it is based on internal company rules that apply to everyone and require all employees to "dress neutrally".

The judgment was delivered in cases brought by two employees, one in Belgium and one in France, who were dismissed for refusing to remove headscarves.

However, UK companies face a rash of discrimination claims if they adopt the ban, experts warned.

Read the complete original version of this item...