Steps employers should take to prevent religious discrimination - LegalVision Spain (2023)

Updated on 10/25/2022

Reading time: 5 minutes

Religious discrimination is one of the nine illegal forms of labordiscrimination. As an employer, you must ensure that you do not personally discriminate against anyone based on religion or belief. You should also make sure that other people in your workplace do not do this. Otherwise, an employee at a job may have a claim against you.In focusfor failing to keep the workplace free from religious discrimination.This article explains what you, as an employer, must do to avoid discrimination based on religion or belief in the workplace. For example, it will explain what religious or philosophical discrimination is and give you examples of how you can avoid it.

What is religious discrimination?

Religious discrimination, also known as belief discrimination, occurs when one person is treated less favorably than another or suffers an unfair disadvantage because of their religion or belief. In this context, religion is any type of religion, including lack of religion, and a belief is a religious or philosophical belief or the absence of belief.

Illegal religious discrimination comes in two forms:

direct discrimination

When a person is treated less favorably because of their religion or belief, or lack thereof. For example, if he doesn't promote his employee just because he is Jewish.

Direct discrimination is almost always illegal.

indirect discrimination

When a policy or regulation has the unintended effect of harming an employee because of their religious beliefs. Indirect discrimination is illegal when there is no reasonable business justification for the policy that gives rise to indirect discrimination.

For example, a policy requiring employees to wear a hat in the workplace would detract from a Sikh wearing his turban. Therefore, it is likely that it is illegal indirect discrimination.

More considerations

Direct or indirect discrimination can take many different forms. These include:

associative discriminationWhen you treat another person less favorably because you associate with others with or without a particular religion or belief.
perceptual discriminationWhen you discriminate against someone based on what you think might be their religion or belief.
persecutionIf you treat someone unfavorably because they have complained of religious discrimination.
harassmentharassmentis when someone "experiences undesirable conduct related to a relevant protected characteristic that has the purpose or effect of offending the dignity of a person or creating an intimidating, hostile, demeaning, demeaning or offensive environment for that person."

How can discrimination based on religion or belief be prevented?

As discussed above, discrimination based on religion and belief can take many forms. Therefore, you must take all reasonable steps to prevent such discrimination in the workplace.

clear guidelines

As an employer, you should ensure that policies are in place to prevent discrimination based on religion or belief. You should have a general anti-discrimination policy, along with a policy that specifically addresses discrimination based on religion or belief. Ideally, this policy should be zero tolerance.

An important part of this policy should be to clarify how your employees should make a request to you regarding their religion or belief in their job role and how managers should respond. Queries may arise, for example, in relation to:

  • going out to a religious event;
  • religious dress code;
  • the need to have a place of worship; Is
  • they want to give up certain tasks because of their religion or ideology.

Your employees can ask that they refrain from tasks such as handling alcohol if they are Muslim or using contraception if they are strict Catholics.

If you respond to such requests, you must do so in writing andacceptunless you have good business reasons not to.

informed employees

Educating and informing your employees about what discrimination based on religion and belief is and what you expect of them in this regard is a crucial way to prevent discrimination based on religion or belief from occurring in your workplace. This should complement your policies. Your team must know their rights and responsibilities and what behavior is acceptable and unacceptable. You can do this, for example, by having a clear policy on this topic and by providing training for the team.

Your employees should also understand how to report discrimination based on religion or belief and that you or your manager will take them seriously when you do so.


By making your workplace inclusive, you can help prevent discrimination based on religion or belief. One way to do this is to allow employees to talk about religion and beliefs. It can also show that, as an employer, you are aware of and accept different beliefs and beliefs.

However, you may find it appropriate to limit discussions of religion or belief for certain reasons, such as: B. to ensure that:

  • the rights of the people are protected;
  • Your business reputation is secure; Is
  • Your team does not impose their opinions on each other.

language and behavior

Discrimination is all about perception, so language in the workplace must be used carefully to avoid religious discrimination. Some terms are derogatory and offensive. Sometimes the language used can be a joke, but it can be offensive and a form of discrimination. As an employer, you need to make sure employees are aware of tolerated language and any specific language sensitivities related to religion or belief.

As an employer, you need to be aware of behavior in the workplace to avoid discrimination based on religion or belief. This is because certain actions, such as shaking hands or being in a room with people of the opposite sex, may be normal behavior for some people, but may be considered wrong by others based on their religion or beliefs. As an employer, you need to consider behavior in the workplace and whether it is required as part of your employee's role or what actions need to be changed.

Main Conclusions

Discrimination based on religion or belief is illegal in the workplace. As an employer, you must not discriminate and you must take steps to prevent others from doing so. There are several possibilities for this. For example, you should have a clear policy on discrimination based on religion or belief, which should clarify how employees report discrimination and how they make inquiries based on their religion or belief. You should also pay attention to language and behavior at work and how this can affect and interact with people's religions and ideas.

If you need help understanding how to prevent discrimination based on religion or belief in England, please contact ourlawyers with experience in labor lawyou can help as part of our LegalVision membership. For one low monthly fee, you have unlimited access to attorneys who will answer your questions and draft and review your documents for one low monthly fee. So call us today0808 196 8584or visit our Membership page.

Did you find this article useful


Thank you for your comments: your submission has been received successfully.

register in ourBuchwebinars and events

Legal basis for your website

Tuesday March 21 | 10:00 - 10:45


Make sure your business website is compliant and protect your brand. Sign up for our free webinar today.

Join now

Employment 101: Your legal obligations when hiring employees

Tuesday April 18 | 10:00 - 10:45


As an employer, you have legal obligations when hiring employees. Register for our free webinar to learn more.

Join now

see all events

About LegalVision:LegalVision is a business law firm that provides businesses with ongoing, affordable legal assistance through our industry-first membership.

When you become a member, you have an experienced legal team ready to answer your questions, draft and review your contracts, and resolve your disputes. All the legal help your business needs for one low monthly fee.

Learn more about our membership

Do you need legal help? send an inquiry

If you want to get in touch with our team and learn more about how ourbelongingcan help your business, fill out the form below.

Read more articles by Clara

    <!-/- Related Articles - Articles -/->
  • I am an entrepreneur. What do I need to know about UK net leases?
  • <!-/- Related Articles - Articles -/->
  • Five key points a UK commercial tenant should consider when signing a lease
  • <!-/- Related Articles - Articles -/->
  • Four key points that a commercial tenant should consider in a UK tenancy agreement


  • medium company
  • Religious discrimination
  • illegal discrimination
  • Religious discrimination
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Prof. Nancy Dach

Last Updated: 07/25/2023

Views: 6104

Rating: 4.7 / 5 (77 voted)

Reviews: 92% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Prof. Nancy Dach

Birthday: 1993-08-23

Address: 569 Waelchi Ports, South Blainebury, LA 11589

Phone: +9958996486049

Job: Sales Manager

Hobby: Web surfing, Scuba diving, Mountaineering, Writing, Sailing, Dance, Blacksmithing

Introduction: My name is Prof. Nancy Dach, I am a lively, joyous, courageous, lovely, tender, charming, open person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.