Religious discrimination in the work place has always been an important issue and has assumed even greater importance in recent years with the war on terror and increasing emphasis on secularism. The article by Lucy Vickers, discusses the legal difficulties a country’s judiciary may have to face when dealing with such discrimination in the work place.
Religious discrimination itself can take many forms. Secular employers may be prejudiced against employing people with a strong religious orientation. People from a certain religion may discriminate against others belonging to a different religion. In fact, people within the same religion may discriminate against others belonging to a different sect of the same religion. This article gives an overview of the Employment Equality (Religion or Belief) Regulations 2003 in UK. It also talks about the way Canada, where legal protection regarding this has been available for some time, has handled religious discrimination in the workplace. Courts need to determine a person’s religious orientation and also how much effort employers should make to accommodate a person’s religious needs.
However, legislation alone cannot eliminate discrimination. People need to correct their attitudes. Rules would be pointless if interpreted in the light of a discriminatory culture.
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