Are You Committing These Religious Violations At Work?

March 1, 2016

Religion is a hot topic around the world, and it seems to be more so than ever in today’s world.

However, the UK government has very strict laws about religious freedom in the workplace.

Managers must educate themselves about these laws, because violating them can have serious repercussions for themselves and the company.

Unfortunately many bosses simply do not know the law, and end up making mistakes and violating their employee’s religious rights.

Here are three common violations having to do with religion at work.

Not Hiring Based On Religion

One common religious violations that happens in the UK is not hiring a candidate based on religious beliefs.

For example, if a manager interviews a person who happens to be extremely devout, and that individual is perfectly qualified for the position, but the manager does not hire them because of believing that they will not fit in with the majority of the employees, who happen to be of another religion, that is a violation.

Even if the manager is doing so for what she believes to be the good of the team, that can still be found illegal in a court of law.

Furthermore, if the boss decides not to hire this same person because she thinks that he will need to take a lot of time off for religious observances, that is also a violation.

Not Intervening In Religious Harassment

What many supervisors do not realize is that religious violations do not just stem from the boss, but can also be coming from co-workers.

For example, a certain devout individual in the office may dress in a certain way, and believes it’s immodest to touch and shake hands with other colleagues.

As a result of this behaviour, which the colleagues find “odd,” they tease her and make fun of her.

If the offended party turns to the manager for help, and he dismisses her, simply telling her that it’s harmless fun, that could be considered harassment.

Not Providing Time Off For Religious Observances

A supervisor should do everything in his power to allow an employee to take time off for a religious observance.

While there is a caveat to this, allowing small companies that cannot operate without the staff member to forbid taking time off; moderate and larger size companies must accommodate religious requests when possible as they have the staff to replace the individual for the timeframe.

It is unlawful to discriminate against staff and colleagues based on their religion or lack of belief.

While these violations can be done accidentally, it is important for bosses to acquaint themselves with UK law to avoid making them.

Many thanks

Mark Williams

Head of Training and Development

Mark Williams 3

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