Policy on Religious Observance

Policy on Religious Observance in Working Hours

EMP.RE.03.25

This Policy on Religious Observance in Working Hours outlines how the company will offer support in the workplace to employees who observe certain religious practices. 

This policy states that the company will ask employees to provide information on their religion or belief on a voluntary basis so that it can give fair consideration to the facilities and arrangements it might reasonably provide to its employees.

The Equality Act 2010 protects all workers against direct and indirect discrimination on the grounds of "any religion, religious belief or philosophical belief". The Act does not require employers to provide time off for prayer or religious observance, or to alter an employee's working pattern to allow for prayer at specific times of the day; as set down in this policy. However, a refusal to accommodate an employee's request for time off or for an alteration to his or her working patterns for religious purposes could amount to indirect religious discrimination if there is no good reason for the refusal.

Similarly, if an employer provides time off or facilities for religious observance to employees of one religion, but refuses to provide equivalent benefits to employees of a different religion, this will amount to direct religious discrimination.

This Policy on Religious Observance in Working Hours covers the following areas:

  1. Introduction
  2. Working Hours
  3. Facilities
  4. Responsibility

Optional phrases / clauses are enclosed in square brackets. These should be read carefully and selected so as to be compatible with one another. Unused options should be removed from the document.

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