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
As always, HR professionals had their fair share of employment law cases to keep track of in 2018, but what were the 10 most important judgments in 2018 that every employer should know about?
An employment tribunal will next year decide if "ethical veganism" is a philosophical belief in a case involving a man who claims he was discriminated against by his employer, the League Against Cruel Sports.
The editor of Waitrose's Food magazine resigned this week after comments he made about "killing vegans" and "force-feeding them meat" drew criticism. Beverley Sunderland of Crossland Employment Solicitors explains why expressing such views in a work environment should be seen as a sackable offence.
It is the case which has captivated the nation almost as much as the Great British Bake-Off. Tom Long looks at what last week's Supreme Court ruling in Lee v Ashers Baking Company means for UK employers.
In Lee v Ashers Baking Co Ltd and others, the Supreme Court held that a Christian bakery did not commit direct sexual orientation discrimination in the provision of goods and services when it refused to fulfil a cake order with a message in support of same-sex marriage.
A table listing the religion or belief discrimination awards made by employment tribunals in 2017/18.
The British Airways worker who won a landmark legal claim for the right to wear a crucifix at work has launched a new employment tribunal claim against her employer.
A Swedish Muslim woman has won compensation after her job interview with a translation company was swiftly ended when she declined to shake hands with a male interviewer.
Updated to include information on Uber BV and others v Aslam and others, in which the Court of Appeal held that Uber drivers are workers.
In Gray v Mulberry Company (Design) Ltd, the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) held that a tribunal had been entitled to conclude, on the particular facts, that a belief in the importance of copyright ownership lacked sufficient cogency to qualify as a philosophical belief.
HR and legal information and guidance relating to religion or belief discrimination.