Companies to extend flexible working to cover holy days

Leading British companies have pledged to extend flexible working to help ethnic minority employees celebrate holy days and festivals.

Firms including the BBC, Shell and London Underground have also announced plans to set up prayer rooms in the workplace.

Caroline Waters, director of people networks at BT, who chaired the first meeting of the Employers Forum for Belief, said: “Flexible working has proven benefits for both employee and employer, as it helps to attract and retain a valuable workforce.

“In today’s multicultural business world, information and awareness of all the main holy days and festivals, together with an understanding of the varying faiths and beliefs of their people, is essential to good business practice.”

The Employers Forum on Belief was set up in September 2003 to establish and share good practice on religion and belief in the workplace. BT chairs the forum which includes other founder members the Land Registry, Accenture, Barclays, the Royal Bank of Scotland Group, B&Q, the Co-operative group, BBC, Race For Opportunity, Shell, and London Underground.

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