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A major call for evidence has been isuued by Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC). The commission is asking individuals and organisations to come forward and give evidence on how their religion or belief (including non-belief), or that of others, has or may have affected their experience in using the services and facilities they need in everyday life but particularly in the workplace.
The Commission wants to hear from employers and employees about how religion or belief issues people affect people in the work place and the experiences they have had relating to religion or belief. The commission is also interested to hear of any solutions employers or employees may have found. The commission is interested in submissions about either positive or negative experiences, since 2010.
There have been a significant number of high profile legal cases which involved the right to manifest religion or belief in the work place, however the EHRC do not have an accurate picture of how frequently this occurs in practice.
The commission plan to use the information to asses how
The information will be used to determine how employers and service providers are taking religion or belief into account what kind of impact impact this has on individuals. The investigation is intended to cover all faiths and beliefs, including non-belief, and experiences in England, Scotland and Wales.
National Secular Society campaigns manager, Stephen Evans, said:
"It's important that both in the workplace and when we use publicly-funded services such as schools, hospitals and other services provided by local authorities, no-one is treated unfairly or denied access on grounds of religious belief or non-belief.This call for evidence provides an ideal opportunity to map out the issues people are facing because of their beliefs and I would urge anyone who has an experience to share to take part in this project."
Chief Executive of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, Mark Hammond, said:
"Everyone has the right to be treated with fairness, dignity and respect, that includes respect for people's faith or beliefs, and respect for the rights of others. We are well aware of the complexity in dealing with such issues. Undertaking this major piece of work will help to build our understanding about how well the law is working so we can fully examine the adequacy of the current legal framework for religion or belief."
The call for submissions is part of a three-year EHRC programme aimed at increasing the understanding of religion or belief throughout society, improving the knowledge of the about what happens in practice and ensuring that the laws charged with protecting the universal right to be treated with fairness, dignity and respect are effective.
Whether you are an employee or an employer in need of advice in relation to discrimination or any religion or beliefs issue in Edinburgh, Scotland, Employment Law Edinburgh's team of specialist Employment solicitors can help. To get in touch, you can either call us on 0131 516 7728 or complete our enquiry form.