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EHRC guidance for employers on religion or belief in the workplace

Makbool Javaid

The EHRC have produced new guidance for employers on religion or belief in the workplace designed to help managers to navigate their way through the issues and decide the appropriate steps they should take. It highlights the importance of thinking ahead when designing company policy, for example suggesting guidance to managers on different religious approaches when dealing with bereavement policy. It addresses a number of issues that employers have been asked about by staff, providing practical answers to many common requests. Examples of common questions answered include:

  • Can I arrange an office Christmas party?
  • Do I have to allow employees time off to pray in the workplace during work hours?
  • Do I have to agree to an employee’s request not to work on Sundays, for religious reasons, when our business is open seven days a week?
  • Does the canteen need to cater for the food requirements of employees with various religions or beliefs?
  • Can I insist that an employee removes a religious symbol or type of religious dress if it breaches our health and safety policy?

The aim of this update is to provide summary information and comment on the subject areas covered. In particular, where employment tribunal and appellate court cases are reported, the information does not set out all of the facts, the legal arguments presented by the parties and the judgments made in every aspect of the case. Click on the links provided to access full details. If no link is provided, contact us for further details.  Employment law is subject to constant change either by statute or by interpretation by the courts. While every care has been taken in compiling this information, SM&B cannot be held responsible for any errors or omissions. Specialist legal advice must be taken on any legal issues that may arise before embarking upon any formal course of action.

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