The Equality Act 2010 states that it is unlawful to discriminate against a person on the grounds of their religion or belief. This includes a lack of religion or belief and includes philosophical beliefs.
The Act applies to vocational training and all aspects of your employment, including recruitment, terms and conditions, promotions, transfers, dismissals and training.
Religion or belief is defined as being any religion, religious belief or similar philosophical belief.
It is unlawful on the grounds of religion or belief for your employer to:
- discriminate directly against you by treating you less favourably than others because of your religion or belief;
- discriminate indirectly against you by applying a criterion, provision or practice which disadvantages you in relation to a particular religion or belief (unless this can be justified);
- subject you to bullying or harassment. That is, any conduct that violates your dignity or creates an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment;
- victimise you because you have made (or intend to make) a complaint or allegation relating to your discrimination;
There may be exceptions in very limited circumstances, for example if there is a requirement for you as an employee to be of a particular religion or belief in order to be able to do the job or to comply with the religious nature of your employer’s organisation.
You may decide to resign because you feel your position is no longer tenable as a result of the discrimination you have suffered, in which case you will also have a potential claim for constructive dismissal.
If you believe that you are being discriminated against on the grounds of your religion, or you simply want more information about your rights, Ashby Cohen can help you. We specialise in employment law cases, and our years of experience as employment lawyers make us uniquely qualified to assist you with any religious discrimination issues you may have. Please contact us for an initial free telephone consultation.
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