Can an employer be liable for harassment of an employee by other employees because of his or her religion or belief?
Can Christian employees refuse to work on the bank holidays that are aligned to a Christian festival such as Easter?
If a third party harasses an employee, will his or her employer be liable for the third party's actions under the Equality Act 2010?
Can an employer and/or its employees be liable for harassment on the grounds of religion or belief where the victim is mistakenly believed to be of a particular religion or belief?
Under the Equality Act 2010, can an employee bring a claim for harassment where the unwanted conduct is not directed at him or her?
Can an employer and/or its employees be liable for harassment of an employee because of, for example, his or her partner's religion or belief?
Does the Equality Act 2010 outlaw associative discrimination?
Can an employer restrict a job to people of a particular religion or belief?
What "positive action" is permitted under discrimination legislation?
Under the law outlawing discrimination on the grounds of religion or belief are company dress codes permissible?
As Christmas is a Christian festival, can an employer still hold a Christmas party if some of its employees belong to other religions?
What issues should employers take into account regarding the timing of a work-related social event such as a Christmas party?
What issues should employers take into account when organising the catering for work-related social events?
Should employees who practise faiths other than Christianity be given additional annual leave to enable them to celebrate religious festivals?
Should employees who practise religions other than Christianity be given additional time off in lieu where a bank holiday is aligned to a Christian festival such as Easter?
If an employee is required to work on bank holidays under the terms of his or her employment contract, the employee cannot refuse to work, even for religious reasons. However, employers should be aware of their obligations under the Equality Act 2010, which protects workers against direct and indirect discrimination because of any religion, religious belief or philosophical belief.
While the Act does not say that employees have the right to time off for religious observance, a refusal to grant Christian employees time off for any of the bank holidays with religious significance could amount to indirect religious discrimination if it places them at a particular disadvantage when compared with employees of other faiths, or non-religious employees.
Indirect discrimination can be justified, and is therefore not unlawful, where employers can show that their decision to refuse the time off is a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim. Employers should therefore ensure that they have a compelling business reason for refusing any request for leave for religious observance. Acas guidance, Religion or belief and the workplace (PDF format, 306K) (on the Acas website), states that employers should be sympathetic to such requests where it is reasonable and practical for the employees to be away from work, and they have sufficient holiday entitlement in hand.
Are employers required to monitor their employees' religions and beliefs?
How are employees protected from dismissal because of an act of discrimination?
Are Sikhs working on construction sites required to wear safety helmets?
Are employers obliged to let Sikh employees wear a kirpan under their clothing while at work?
Can employers require all employees to wear a uniform?
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