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
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 Saad v Southampton University Hospitals NHS Trust, in which the EAT set out the correct approach to determining "bad faith" in victimisation claims.
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.
A former Mulberry employee who refused to sign a copyright agreement because she held a "philosophical belief" that she should own the rights to her work has lost an appeal at the Employment Appeal Tribunal.
As protests greet Donald Trump's arrival in the UK, Michael Hibbs looks at the recent news from Canada, where a restaurant manager was fired for refusing to serve a man wearing a 'Make America Great Again' cap, and examines the implications for employers in the UK.
HR and legal information and guidance relating to religion or belief discrimination.