The 'reasonable accommodation' of religion: Is this a better way of advancing equality in cases of religious discrimination?

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Abstract

Freedom of religion and the manifestation of religious belief can clash with working life in a number of ways, including time away from work for religious observance, conflicts over religious clothing and jewellery in an employer’s dress code or a request for a variation of duties based on a particular religious belief. Guidance issued by the Equality and Human Rights Commission (2013) following Eweida and others v. UK [2013] 57 EHRR 8 seems to suggest that employers in Great Britain should consider the ‘reasonable accommodation’ of religion in the workplace and, in particular, how an individual chooses to manifest that religious belief. Subsequently, there has been much debate about whether this is a better way of dealing with religious discrimination cases than the current complex legal framework of direct and indirect discrimination in the Equality Act 2010. Section 20 of the Equality Act 2010 already allows for reasonable adjustments to be made to working practices and the physical working environment for disabled employees. Should this duty be expanded to include religion and what would be the consequences and impact of such an accommodation or adjustment on the employment relationship?
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)161-176
JournalInternational Journal of Discrimination and the Law
Volume16
Issue number2-3
Early online date11 Jul 2016
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 11 Jul 2016

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