General Article Religion or belief: rights at work

Topic Selected: Religion
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Employers should ensure they have policies in place which are designed to prevent discrimination in:

  • recruitment and selection;
  • determining pay;
  • training and development;
  • selection for promotion;
  • discipline and grievances;
  • countering bullying and harassment.

There is no specific list that sets out what religion or belief discrimination is. The law defines it as any religion, religious or philosophical belief. This includes all major religions, as well as less widely-practised ones.

Employees are also protected against discrimination if they do not hold a particular (or any) religion or belief.

Many employers find that being sensitive to the cultural and religious needs of their employees makes good business sense. This can mean making provisions for:

  • flexible working;
  • religious holidays and time off to observe festivals and ceremonies;
  • prayer rooms with appropriate hygiene facilities;
  • dietary requirements in staff canteens and restaurants;
  • dress requirements.

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