Discrimination claims based on religion or belief brought by one of your employees can have harmful consequences for your business. As well as the stress that comes with having to defend yourself in these circumstances, such accusations can time consuming and potentially costly. Furthermore, if your employee is successful in their claim, this can result in negative publicity and irreparable damage to your company's reputation. With all this at stake, it is vital that you have the support of a team of experienced employment solicitors to provide strategic, proactive advice to help resolve matters as quickly and sensitively as possible.
To discuss your specific circumstances, get in touch with our team today. Call us on 01709 828 044 or complete our online contact form.
What is religion or belief discrimination?
Religion or belief is a 'protected characteristic', as detailed in the Equality Act 2010. This means that any unequal treatment of an employee on the grounds of their religion or belief is considered to be discrimination and is therefore unlawful.
Religion or belief is one of the more complex areas of discrimination, especially when the employer is a religious organisation. In these circumstances, it would be appropriate for the organisation to advertise certain positions as only being open to individuals who hold a particular faith – but not all positions. For example, it would not be discriminatory for a church looking to employ a minister to insist that applicants be a devotee of their faith. However, if the position was for a cleaner, then this could be discriminatory as the applicant would not require to hold these beliefs to carry out their role.
What is considered 'religion or belief' under the Equality Act 2010?
In the Equality Act, religion or belief can mean any religion, for example, an organised religion like Christianity, Judaism, Islam or Buddhism. The Equality Act also covers non-belief or a lack of religion or belief.
Does discrimination law cover other beliefs?
Philosophical beliefs can also result in a discrimination claim. A 'philosophical belief':
- Must have the same attributes as a religious belief
- Must have similar status or cogency as a religious belief
- Does not have to be shared by others
- Must be based on science
Contact our Religious Discrimination Solicitors
The specialist employment lawyers at Wilford Smith have represented numerous firms from across England and Wales on a comprehensive range of employment law matters. We offer a service that is uniquely client-focused, taking the time to discuss your case in detail at a time that suits you. Our lawyers can take instruction from the earliest stage – as soon as you become aware of a potential discrimination claim we will begin planning your defence. At all times, we will keep you fully updated on any developments and members of our employment team will be on hand to address any questions or concerns you may have throughout.
Speak with a member of our employment team by calling 01709 828 044 or complete our online enquiry form.