Establish a policy on requests for time off to observe religious holidays

Key points

  • There is no automatic right to time off to observe religious holidays. However, to avoid the risk of claims under the religious discrimination legislation, employers should aim to adopt a supportive approach towards employees who wish to take time off for this reason.
  • An employer deciding on its policy for time off for religious observance could consider options including allowing employees to use their holiday entitlement wherever possible, or allowing employees to take unpaid time off.
  • The employer should also consider its policy on procedural matters, for example how it will deal with competing requests for time off for religious purposes.

XpertHR resources