It is unlawful to discriminate on grounds of Religion or Belief. Employers (and those they employ or direct) must not:

- treat workers differently on grounds of their religious belief unless there is a GOR for this (for example, a denominational school could insist only those following a particular religion would be employed as teachers or administrative staff. However, it might be unlikely that this could be legally applied when recruiting maintenance staff).

- discriminate or subject workers to harassment (in which regard employers are responsible for the acts of their employees) because they (or someone connected with them - e.g. a son or daughter) follow or subscribe to a particular religion.

- discriminate against a person or harass them after their employment has ended on such grounds (e.g. not providing a reference because a person is, for example, a Jew).

- apply unnecessary rules regarding dress codes which could discriminate against followers of a certain religion. There is currently only one legal exception to dress codes - Sikhs are not required to wear crash helmets since their religion requires them to wear a turban at all times.

- ensure that where there are genuine job requirements these are made clear to all applicants (for example, a need to work late regularly on a Friday could conflict with the religious requirements of those of the Muslim and Jewish faiths).


Employers need to respect the requirements of those of certain faiths, e.g. providing separate changing facilities (if changing and showering facilities are provided) for those whose religion forbids changing in the presence of others; providing meditation rooms for those whose religion requires regular prayer during the working day; ensuring canteen facilities provide a choice of food so that religious dietary requirements can be satisfied (or making facilities available so that particular foods can be prepared).

Since employers are responsible for the acts of their employees, these requirements should be brought to the attention of every person (employee and worker) in the business and it must be made clear to everyone that failure to respect a person's sexual orientation and/or religion or belief is both a breach of the business' rules (and thus subject to sanction) and a breach of legislation. With this kind of action (and the ability to show everyone was told and thus knew their obligations) subsequent claims may be avoided by the employer - although the individuals themselves might be made personally liable.

4 comments

  1. Anomaly1974 // June 13, 2008 at 7:11 AM  

    Why should the government have any say over the business practices of a PRIVATE industry in the first place? Do you think ... I don't know ... a Muslim Bakery in Oakland is going to hire old white females to work in their store? Should they have to?

    Next thing you know ... government will want to tell people what they can and cannot do in their homes ... like smoking or something equally ghastly ... oh wait ... they already are!

    That is why it is dangerous ground to tread. While we must certainly celebrate the diversity this nation enjoys, we cannot do so at the expense of others or their rights either. If I choose to smoke in my home it is my business. If I choose to open a bar for retired Martian hookers, again, it is my business and the free market economy should be the one that decides who does or does not frequent my business ... or works there, not the government.

  2. TunKoo // June 14, 2008 at 7:04 PM  

    Anomaly1974,

    As a good and caring government, they need to provide ground rules to all companies. Why they doing this? Because they don't want to see something happen like riot or discrimination.

    Living in multiracial country, government does not exist to serve one religion. They need to give equality to all their citizens...

  3. Anomaly1974 // June 14, 2008 at 10:46 PM  

    Ahh, while I may agree with the morals of your belief, you are very far off base. The government should not PROVIDE any rules. Our Bill of Rights clearly establishes certain freedoms that are inherent to all men and expressly limits the rights and power of government ... especially the federal system, to infringe on my rights.

    I do not want a "good and caring" federal government, only one that protects our borders and maintains a minimal federal system.

    I do not think being multi-racial is the issue. What you are referring to is multi-culturalism. I do not speak four languages because I am smart. I speak them because when I lived in their nations, I was expected to become part of their society. I expect the same thing of people coming to the USA but alas, it does not happen.

    Not only is the government restricting rights of the people by doing this, it actively creates divides among a diverse population ... conveniently stepping up to the plate to fix the very problem it has created by forcing me to relinquish yet more rights and by creating more problems.

    The government should govern, not attempt to regulate a free market economy.

  4. TunKoo // June 15, 2008 at 1:24 AM  

    Anomaly1974,

    i agree with your opinion. But in my humble opinion, government try to provide the equal base for employer and employee.

    Like what i post,
    "- ensure that where there are genuine job requirements these are made clear to all applicants"

    This indicates that as an employer, you have the right to do anything that you want, but made it clear to your employee at the first place. This will help to eliminate future conflict that may arise between emplyer and employee if they dont understand their job nature and work environment.

    However, i agree with your point that govern shouldn't attempt into the free market business. :)