EHRC publishes results of its consultation on religion and belief laws
On a day when Nigel Farage is reported to have spoken of a fifth column of Muslims in the UK, and a need for the overhaul/abolition of much of our anti-discrimination legislation, the Equality and Human Rights Commission has published the results of its call for evidence on the laws protecting religion and belief in UK workplaces. A link to the findings can be found here. Frank Cranmer from the excellent Law and Religion blog has kindly permitted us to link through to his summary of the report here.
Whilst positive in part, the findings do highlight the fears of some (from differing faiths) that the place of religion in the workplace is increasingly lost and isolated, reflecting the mores of a secularised society. The thrust of much of the case law in this area would on the face of it often seem to support that. It can often feel like a thankless balancing act for employers to juggle the apparently competing ‘rights’ and expectations of those with different beliefs and different world views. It is right that there should be checks and balances here, however tricky it may be to navigate where to draw the lines in certain cases - not least when the primacy of those with different protected characteristics can seemingly give rise to head to head conflict. But at a time when polarisation is causing such devastation world-wide, it can only be a positive thing to find a way to reflect the richness and diversity of cultural and religious (and non-religious) life in the UK in the legislation underpinning the way we operate our workplaces.