Topics

Religion or belief discrimination

Fiona Cuming

Editor's message: Issues around the protected characteristic of “religion or belief” can be particularly sensitive for organisations. Workers should be free to practise their religion, but this freedom can sometimes be at odds with your business’s needs.

The workplace issues that most commonly arise include time off and flexible working patterns for religious observance, flexible working, facilities for prayer, and dress codes. These matters can lead to the risk of claims for direct or indirect discrimination.

Misunderstandings about different religions and beliefs can also result in harassment claims. Raising awareness about different religions and beliefs can address misconceptions and allow your workers to understand what is and is not appropriate behaviour.

Awareness training should not be a one-off event, and you should consider incorporating issues associated with religion in the workplace into mainstream training activities and policies and processes.

Fiona Cuming, employment law editor

New and updated

  • Date:
    14 October 2020
    Type:
    Podcasts and webinars

    Podcast: Ten years of the Equality Act 2010 - what it means for employers

    Jo Broadbent, counsel knowledge lawyer at Hogan Lovells, explores the practical impact on employers of discrimination legislation, 10 years on from the introduction of the Equality Act 2010.

  • Type:
    Quick reference

    Religious discrimination awards

    Updated to reflect the religious discrimination awards made by employment tribunals in 2019/20.

  • Date:
    2 October 2020
    Type:
    Editor's choice

    Quick reference: tribunal statistics

    XpertHR's Quick reference tool has been updated to incorporate the latest annual tribunal claims and awards statistics.

  • Date:
    20 February 2020
    Type:
    News

    Society launches veganism guidance for employers

    Following last month's landmark ruling that ethical veganism qualifies as a philosophical belief for the purposes of the Equality Act, the Vegan Society has issued guidance to employers to help them avoid direct or indirect discrimination.

  • Date:
    4 February 2020
    Type:
    Podcasts and webinars

    Podcast: Non-religious beliefs in the workplace

    Emma O'Connor, senior associate at law firm Boyes Turner, discusses the legal and practical implications for employers of the recent employment tribunal case involving a philosophical belief in ethical veganism.

  • Date:
    3 February 2020
    Type:
    Commentary and analysis

    Religion or belief discrimination: Are beliefs on veganism and gender transition protected?

    Consultant editor Darren Newman looks at the criteria applied by employment tribunals in recent cases to determine the sort of philosophical beliefs that should be protected by the Equality Act 2010.

  • Date:
    31 January 2020
    Type:
    Law reports

    Religion or belief discrimination: Veganism is a philosophical belief, rules tribunal

    In Casamitjana v The League Against Cruel Sports, an employment tribunal held that ethical veganism is capable of being a philosophical belief under the Equality Act 2010.

  • Date:
    17 January 2020
    Type:
    Commentary and analysis

    Equality Act 2010: Which non-religious beliefs are protected?

    Ethical veganism, democratic socialism, humanism and a refusal to lie to customers are among the eclectic list of beliefs that have come before courts and tribunals as potential "philosophical beliefs" under equality legislation. We round up which non-religious beliefs have been found to be protected under the Equality Act 2010.

  • Date:
    12 November 2019
    Type:
    Commentary and analysis

    General election 2019: Five issues when politics and work mix

    How can employers prevent employees from electioneering at work? Should the workforce be banned from highlighting their political allegiances in the workplace? What if colleagues argue over opposing political views? With a general election taking place on 12 December, we look at five employment issues when politics and the workplace mix.

  • Date:
    28 October 2019
    Type:
    Commentary and analysis

    Climate change protests: Five concerns for employers

    Widespread environmental protests, such as the Extinction Rebellion, are having an increasing everyday impact on employers. We round up potential issues for HR professionals who are dealing with disruption to their employer's operations as a result of climate change protests.

About this topic

HR and legal information and guidance relating to religion or belief discrimination.