Religion or belief discrimination
Discrimination covers four areas:
- Harassment:this is when someone treats you differently because of your religion or belief, the purpose of this is to make the individual feel intimidated, hostile, degrading, humiliating or make an offensive environment for that individual to be working in
- Victimisation:treating someone who has made or supported a complaint about discrimination because of their religion or belief
- Direct discrimination:treating someone differently because of their actual religion and belief, or because of the religion of someone with whom they are fiends with
- Indirect discrimination:can occur where there is a policy, practice or procedure which applies to all employees, but particularly disadvantages employees who hold a particular religion or belief
Policies in place which are designed to prevent discrimination in:
- Disciplinary and grievances
- Bullying and harassment.
The law defines it as any religion, religious or philosophical belief; this includes all major religions, as there is no list that sets out what religion or belief discrimination.
To be protected under the Equality Act:
- Certain level of believe, seriousness and importance
- Belief as to the aspect of human life and behaviour
- Belief but not an opinion
- Respect in a multicultural society and not conflict with the difference of others
- Genuinely held
Employees who are also protected against discrimination if they don’t have a particular (or any) religion or belief.
Employers do not have to give workers time off for religious customs but they should try to accommodate wherever possible here is an example, if you have employees who need a prayer room and there is a suitable room that they could use as an employer you could be allowed this room to be used, an employer should just check that it does not disrupt anybody else or affect their ability to carry out their work properly.
Many employers find that being sensitive to the cultural and religious needs of their employees makes good business practice.
Making provisions for:
- Dress requirements
- Religious holidays and time off to go to festivals and ceremonies
- Flexible working hours.
- Prayer rooms with washing facilitiess
- Staff restaurants/canteen should be aware of dietray requirments
Once you have followed the informal stage with your company for discrimination and you are still dissatisfied you can take the company down the formal route and take them to the Employment Tribunal