Religion

Religious discrimination legislation has been in place in the UK since 2003, although individuals of religious denominations that are associated with one particular race have been bringing race discrimination claims much earlier than 2003. “Religion or belief” is a protected characteristic under the Equality Act 2010.

Religious discrimination laws cover direct and indirect religious discrimination, and harassment and victimisation because of someone’s religion.

Any religion is protected under UK equal opportunities laws. This means that, while the majority of claims will be brought by Christians, Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs, and Jews, it is possible for an employer to face a workplace discrimination from followers of other religions such as Pagans, Spiritualists or Wiccans (Holland v Angel Supermarket Ltd and another). A lack of religion is also covered.


Top 10 HR questions December 2017: Workers’ rights post-Brexit

2 Jan 2018

December saw the announcement of an agreement between the UK and the EU on citizens’ rights following Brexit. Employers are...

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Six important employment law cases in 2017

28 Jul 2017

The decision by the Supreme Court that the employment tribunal fees system is unlawful may be one of the most...

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headscarf-case

Headscarf cases: what now for employer dress codes?

20 Apr 2017

Recent European court judgments have suggested that employers can justify a ban on employees wearing certain religious items. But what...

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Ban on religious dress can be justified, says European Court

14 Mar 2017

An employer can justify a ban on religious dress that prevents a Muslim woman from wearing an Islamic headscarf (hijab)...

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Religious festivals: five-week holiday rejection not discriminatory

14 Feb 2017

The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) upheld a tribunal’s rejection of a claim that a Roman Catholic was not discriminated against...

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Employment law cases 2017: seven decisions to look out for

14 Dec 2016

We round up seven significant employment law decisions expected in 2017, with cases pending on employment status, equal pay, whistleblowing,...

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Court of Appeal upholds gay cake case discrimination ruling

24 Oct 2016

The Court of Appeal in Northern Ireland has upheld a decision that Ashers bakery in County Antrim had directly discriminated...

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Five important employment law cases in 2016… and five more to come

21 Jul 2016

Your annual summer round-up of the most important employment law cases 2016 has seen so far, and those still to come…

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Employers cannot ban Muslim headscarves, says Advocate General

13 Jul 2016

An employer cannot have a blanket ban on religious dress that prevents a Muslim woman from wearing an Islamic headscarf...

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Muslim families celebrating Eid al-Fitr in London. Amer Ghazzal/REX/Shutterstock

Supporting staff through Ramadan and Eid

1 Jun 2016

This year, the holy month of Ramadan starts on 6 June, meaning the longest average fasting hours in its lunar-based...

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Employers can ban Muslim headscarves at work, says EU lawyer

31 May 2016

An employer can prevent a Muslim employee from wearing an Islamic headscarf if the ban is based on a general...

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Religious discrimination: Christian teacher’s dismissal for refusal to divorce sex offender

23 May 2016

The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) has held that a Christian employee, dismissed for not divorcing her husband when he was...

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NHS trust did not discriminate against Christian worker

7 Apr 2016

An NHS trust did not commit religious discrimination against a Christian health worker who was disciplined for inappropriately promoting her...

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religious-dress-work

Religious dress at work: ECJ to hear Muslim headscarf cases

24 Feb 2016

What should an employer do if a third party objects to an employee wearing religious dress while working on the...

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The tribunal held that the five-week trip to Sardinia related more to family arrangements, rather than religious beliefs

Religious festivals: no requirement to give employee five weeks off

11 Feb 2016

An employment tribunal found that London Underground was entitled to turn down an employee’s request for five consecutive weeks’ annual...

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