Would the ‘reasonable accommodation’ of religious beliefs in the workplace prevent a hierarchy of protected characteristics from developing?

Griffiths, Elisabeth (2015) Would the ‘reasonable accommodation’ of religious beliefs in the workplace prevent a hierarchy of protected characteristics from developing? In: The Equality Act 2010: five-years on, 22 June 2015, Chester University.

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Abstract

Freedom of religion and belief and the manifestation of those beliefs can clash with working life in a number of ways including time away from work for religious observance, the prohibition on religious clothing and jewellery in an employer’s dress code, or a request for a variation of duties based on a particular religious belief. Section 20 of the Equality Act 2010 already allows for reasonable adjustments to be made to working practices and the physical working environment for disabled employees. The question is could this be expanded to include religion and belief and would this prevent a hierarchy of protected characteristics from developing, if such a hierarchy actually exists?
Guidance issued by the EHRC following Eweida and others v UK (2013) 57 EHRR 213 seems to suggest that employers in the UK should consider the ‘reasonable accommodation’ of religion and belief in the workplace and in particular how an individual chooses to manifest that belief. Lady Hale, Deputy President of the Supreme Court, has called for the ‘accommodation’ of religious beliefs where this would do no harm to others. This paper will examine arguments for and against the principle of ‘reasonable accommodation’ of religious belief in UK workplaces.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Subjects: M100 Law by area
Department: Faculties > Business and Law > School of Law
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Elisabeth Griffiths
Date Deposited: 02 Dec 2015 11:15
Last Modified: 02 Dec 2015 11:15
URI: http://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/24850

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