“Strict neutrality towards our customers”


Supermarket chain Carrefour confirms to SCEPTR that their personnel policy regarding wearing a headscarf or any other signs of political, philosophical or religious belief will remain unchanged. “In strict neutrality towards our customers, as well as in line with our occupational health and safety standards,It sounds. Competitor Delhaize had, however, announced just the opposite last week. From the principle that “Everyone is welcome at Delhaize and everyone should feel welcome there too” it has been announced that staff can, for example, wear the headscarf.

Other signs of religious belief, such as the yarmulke, are also allowed at Delhaize. Just as it had long been the case with Albert Heijn. In the latter, the Islamic headscarf even forms an ‘accessory’ in the uniform. However, it is true that sometimes a deviation may apply for safety reasons.

“Delhaize is certainly not a trendsetter”, Het Laatste Nieuws wrote about that decision. And then referred to other retailers such as Ikea and Torfs where a headscarf can be used in the workplace. But if you look at the policy of supermarket chains, you will see that the reality is more nuanced.

Colruyt allows the wearing of headgear. But only to employees who do not come into contact with customers. Also at Colruyt it is not allowed for the shop staff or the checkout staff. “Because we want to maintain neutrality, the staff in our stores should not show any external signs of religious or political belief”, Colruyt explains that choice.

“We do not expect our employees to wear flashy signs of a political, philosophical or religious nature in the workplace”

SCEPTR also requested a response from Carrefour, the other major supermarket chain in our country. The response shows that Carrefour already has a different philosophy than Delhaize.

“Carrefour is very committed to diversity ”, PR and corporate communications director Aurélie Gerth told SCEPTR. “As such, and as described in our employment regulations, we respect the lifestyle, culture and freedom of belief and opinion of our employees and customers”, Gerth explains.

But guess what? The French supermarket chain, from the same respect for diversity, comes to a completely different conclusion than Delhaize and Albert Heijn.

“That’s why we expect all our employees not to wear flashy signs of a political, philosophical or religious nature in the workplace. In strict neutrality towards our customers. But also in accordance with our standards for health and safety at work ”, she concludes.

Ed .: The photo on the left is a photo of a supermarket in Istanbul, where the shop staff also do not wear religious symbols such as headscarves.


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