WJC, A Haredi Jew in the UK won a landmark court victory against the British government after he was denied out-of-work payments allowance for over six months and told he must work on Shabbat, the 'Jewish Chronicle' reports. A tribune ruled that Jacob Slinger, 19, was wrongly denied the equivalent of US$ 85 a week in benefits by the department. Ordering the government department to retroactively pay Slinger US$ of the benefit, the judge called on other Jewish people denied money to come forward.
The decision is thought to be the first of its kind in the UK and does not set down a legal precedent but could lead to a series of fresh appeals, the newspaper says.
The 19-year-old former university student applied for the benefit last year but was turned down by his local job center because his stipulation not to work on Friday afternoons and Saturdays to observe Shabbat was deemed “not reasonable”. Regulations state that job seekers must be available to work up for a minimum of 35 hours a week, which Slinger had agreed to.
The 'Jewish Chronicle' quoted Jason Coppel, an expert in social security law, saying that he was not aware of such a decision being made by a UK tribunal before, and that it could affect Christians, Muslims and others, as well as Jews.