Employers will welcome clarification from the courts on what amounts to a protected ‘philosophical belief’. Treating an employee or job candidate less favourably because of their belief that a person’s sex cannot be changed is not discriminatory under employment law, but treating them unfavourably because they are ethical vegans can be.
Employers should beware blanket bans on beards (or other aspects of a person’s appearance arising from their religious beliefs) unless they can show the ban is proportionate – for example, there is no other way to comply with customers’ preferences in a non-discriminatory way - or they risk an indirect discrimination claim.
Employers should treat all workers’ lawful beliefs with equal respect at work to avoid grievances or claims for constructive dismissal, but need not be concerned about discrimination claims based solely on a worker’s belief in vegetarianism.
Employers whose workforce include individuals with strong beliefs about Scottish independence, Brexit or similar issues should beware treating them less favourably than other workers because of those beliefs, or risk a discrimination claim on grounds of philosophical belief, following a recent ruling.
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These ten sections of the chapter on employment cover discrimination - the Equality Act 2010 replaced all previous discrimination legislation. Discrimination on the basis of: age; disability; gender reassignment; marriage and civil partnership; pregnancy and maternity; race; religion and belief; sex; and sexual orientation is outlawed. In addition discrimination against people with criminal records, part-time workers, fixed-term workers and agency workers is also covered.
Advice, guidance and practical resources on a wide variety of recruitment topics for both employers and employees, produced by the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service, Acas
. Acas is the employment relations service for England, Scotland and Wales offering practical, independent and impartial advice to employers, employees and their representatives.
Guidance on religion and belief discrimination in the workplace, with a range of practical resources on the Equality Act 2010.
Acas guide for managers and employers, offering practical help in complying with the Equality Act 2010.
It'll cost you...
The article offers advice on legislation related to human resources (HR) compliance in Great Britain. Topics include dealing with discrimination law, the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment Regulations (TUPE) related to service provision, and flexible working regulations. Also noted are employment law related to religion, shared parental leave (SPL) regulations, and the need for written records of employee discipline and grievance procedures..
Dressing to impress
The article discusses the legal aspects of imposing a dress code in the workplace in Great Britain, as of March 2017. It states a petition filed a woman employee regarding alleged discrimination related to dress code in the workplace, which was reportedly investigated by the House of Commons Petitions Committee, and mentions compliance for dress code under the Equality Act 2010. It notes that employers should consider dress code requests from employees owing to religion or belief..
We don't want to talk about religion
The article discusses discrimination law in Great Britain, focusing on a study by the British Equality & Human Rights Commission that found that employees tend to keep religious beliefs hidden, and that businesses are uncertain about laws on offering time off for religious observance
Religion in the workplace
The article discusses the need for employers to be sensitive to religious sentiments of employees and the laws related to discrimination in Great Britain. The Employment Equality Regulations act of 2003 was introduced to give protection against religious discrimination in the workplace. It is stated that employers faced with religious requests should consider each request separately.
Belief in climate change is protected by discrimination regulations
The article discusses the amendment to the Employment Equality Regulations 2003 of Great Britain which expands the definition of "belief" to include not only religious or philosophical belief but also other similar belief systems of persons. It explains that the belief must in a way shape a person's view of the world.
Employers whose workforce include individuals with strong beliefs about Brexit should beware treating them less favourably than other workers because of those beliefs, or risk a discrimination claim on grounds of philosophical belief, following a recent ruling.
Guidance on addressing religion and belief discrimination in the workplace from the CIPD. Includes factsheets, Q&As and case law. Registration required to access content.
Guidance from the EHRC including what qualifies as a belief, different types of religion or belief discrimination and circumstances when being treated differently due to religion or belief is lawful
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