Religious Freedom, Religious Discrimination and the by Lucy Vickers

By Lucy Vickers

Discrimination, on grounds of faith and trust, in the office increases many advanced and contested concerns, now not least end result of the multi-faceted nature of spiritual discrimination. Discrimination can take place the place secular employers refuse to hire or accommodate non secular staff, in addition to the place non secular teams refuse to hire these of a special faith, or these of a similar faith whose interpretation or perform of the religion differs. including to the complexity is the truth that freedom of faith is secure as a primary human correct that may be loved by means of either non secular members and spiritual teams. even though it isn't an absolute correct, its value to contributors implies that non secular freedom may perhaps warrant a level of safeguard within the paintings context. This publication considers the level to which non secular pursuits are secure within the office, with specific connection with the safety opposed to non secular discrimination supplied by way of the UK/EU Employment Equality (Religion and trust) laws 2003. It establishes a principled foundation for identifying the right kind scope of non secular freedom at paintings, and considers the interplay of freedom of faith with the correct to not be discriminated opposed to on grounds of faith. The booklet takes a comparative technique, contemplating the location in different universal legislation jurisdictions, and in the eu Union. It locates the controversy surrounding those concerns inside a philosophical and theoretical framework during which the significance of freedom of faith, and its function in the office, is absolutely debated.ò

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Extra resources for Religious Freedom, Religious Discrimination and the Workplace

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On this analysis it is clear that humanism and atheism are covered, whereas a devotion to football is not. 43 Similar restrictions on the meaning of the term ‘belief ’ are reflected in the legislation of some member states which have implemented the Equality Directive. For example, the explanatory notes to the Austrian implementing legislation state: The term ‘belief’ is tightly connected with the term ‘religion’ . . Belief is a system of interpretation consisting of personal convictions concerning the basic structure, 38 This would follow the rule of statutory interpretation that suggests that where wide words follow words with a more restricted meaning, the wider words are interpreted as meaning things that are ejusdem generis (of the same genus or class) as the more restricted words.

See ‘Toward a Constitutional Definition of Religion’ (1978) 91 Harv LR 1056. 15 See P Cumper, ‘Freedom of Thought, Conscience and Belief’ in D Harris and S Joseph (eds), The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the United Kingdom (Oxford, Clarendon Press, 1995) 359. 14 (C) Vickers Ch2 17/3/08 16 16:22 Page 16 Seeking a Definition of Religion and Belief Content-based Definitions The simplest way to define a religion is to set out a series of beliefs which any religion will contain.

In effect, everyone has a ‘religion’ so defined. Clearly the test is subjective; pretty much any belief can suffice as long as it is ‘ultimate’ for the believer, but this may be an advantage. 17 A definition based on ‘ultimate concern’ is capable of including less well established religions, as well as philosophical movements such as humanism or atheism which do not have traditional religious roots. However, the very inclusiveness of the definition is also its weakness. The suggestion that everyone has an ‘ultimate concern’ may be true, but by classifying all such views as ‘religious’ it leaves no space for those who identify themselves as areligious.

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