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Religion ‘not causing tension’ in workplace February 20, 2007

Posted by C.A.R.D in Card, Citizens Against Racism and Discrimination, Discriminate, Discrimination, religious dress.

Religious observance in the workplace is not a source of employer-employee conflict despite a number of high-profile cases of alleged religious discrimination in the workplace, a survey claims.

According to research from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) and professional services firm KPMG, only one per cent had faced an employment tribunal claim in the past three years related to alleged religious discrimination.

Similarly only one per cent of the 1,369 employers questioned said they had been involved in disciplinary and three per cent reported a grievance related to discrimination.

Last year the case of Nadia Eweida, a Christian employee of British Airways, caused controversy and highlighted the issue. She was requested by her employer to cover up her cross as it wished to keep the airline’s uniform neutral, causing controversy among some Christian groups.

The survey reports that only one in ten employers impose restrictions on religious dress or jewellery and this overall proportion is raised by employers in manufacturing due to health and safety reasons.

Dianah Worman, a diversity adviser at the CIPD, commented: “The survey findings are encouraging in demonstrating that tensions evident in recent high-profile cases relating to restrictions on religious dress or the display of religious symbols at work are not widespread in workplaces across the UK.”

Sarah Bond, head of diversity at KPMG, concludes: “The introduction of legislation on religion and belief sent a clear signal to employers that ignoring faith at work is no longer an option.”

CARD {Citizens Against Racism and Discrimination} Source: inthenews.co.uk

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