What is religion or belief discrimination? This is when you are treated differently because of your religion or belief, or lack of religion or belief, in one of the situations covered by the Equality Act. The treatment could be a one-off action or as a result of a rule or policy.
The Equality Act 2010 says you must not be discriminated against because:
• you are (or are not) of a particular religion
• you hold (or do not hold) a particular philosophical belief
• someone thinks you are of a particular religion or hold a particular belief (this is known as discrimination by perception)
• you are connected to someone who has a religion or belief (this is known as discrimination by association)
In the Equality Act religion or belief can mean any religion, for example an organised religion like Christianity, Judaism, Islam or Buddhism, or a smaller religion like Rastafarianism or Paganism, as long as it has a clear structure and belief system.
The Equality Act also covers non-belief or a lack of religion or belief. For example:
• the Equality Act protects Christians if they are discriminated against because of their Christian beliefs, it also protects people of other religions and those with no religion if they are discriminated against because of their beliefs
How to fight religion discrimination?
Adhere to the provisions of the Equality and Human Rights Commission’s Code of Practice on Employment. Devise and implement an equal opportunities policy and ensure that it states clearly that there must be no discrimination or harassment against any employee or job applicant on the grounds of religion or belief.
At ELREC, our sole purpose is equality and believe that no one should be treated differently due to their personal beliefs or religion.