A British Airways worker has won a legal battle at the European Court of Human Rights after claiming she suffered discrimination at work because of her faith.

Nadia Eweida took the airline to a tribunal after she lost her job for wearing a cross in breach of company uniform codes.

Her case was rejected in the UK but today European judges found in her favour.

Eweida, from Twickenham, in London, was sent home in September 2006 for displaying a small silver cross on a chain around her neck which she wore as a personal expression of her faith.

She took BA to a tribunal but a panel rejected her claims and ruled she was not a victim of religious discrimination.

The decision was upheld by the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court before Miss Eweida took her fight to the European Court of Human Rights.

She returned to work in customer services at Heathrow Terminal 5 in February 2007, after BA changed its uniform policy on visible items of jewellery.

Eweida argued BA’s action contravened articles 9 and 14 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which prohibit religious discrimination and allow “freedom of thought, conscience and religion”.

Judges ruled there had been a violation of article 9 (freedom of religion), by five votes to two.

They rejected the cases of three more Christians who launched similar action.