Religious Discrimination

Religious Discrimination

If you feel you have been discriminated by your employer or a fellow employee in the workplace based on your religion or beliefs then you may be able to claim compensation for religious discrimination.

People with religious beliefs, regardless of the form of religion, must be treated equally and not discriminated against when it comes to employment, vocational training, promotion, pay and working conditions in the workplace. Any action contrary to this could be declared religious discrimination.

If you make a claim and are successful an employment tribunal will award you compensation and can also make a declaration of the rights you have and make recommendations as to what steps your employer should do to reduce the effect of the discrimination.

It is unlawful to for your employer to discriminate against you on the grounds of your religion or belief.

Religious Discrimination Law

The relevant law to protect you from religious discrimination in the workplace is the Equality Act 2010.

Have I been discriminated against?

The law prevents an employer from doing the following:

  1. directly discriminating against an employee or job applicant by treating them less favourably than others on grounds of religion or beliefs.
  2. indirectly discriminating against an employee or job applicant by putting in place a provision, practice or criteria which puts a person of a certain religion/belief at a disadvantage to the another person who has a different religion/belief without being able to objectively justify this.
  3. harassing a job applicant or employee in relation to their religion/beliefs, or treating them less favourably because they rejected or submitted to the harassment.
  4. victimising an employee or job applicant because they made or intend to make a complaint about religious/belief discrimination.

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I feel I have been discriminated because of my religion/belief, can I claim?

Are you protected?

The law only protects certain categories of individuals. The most obvious category is employees are protected against religious/belief discrimination. However, other individuals who are also protected include:

  • Job applicants,
  • Agency workers and other contract workers,
  • Barristers and advocates,
  • Those people on work experience placements,
  • Police
  • Partners
  • Office holders
  • Those seeking or holding professional qualifications
  • Members of a Trade Union
  • Members of Local Authorities

To be considered an “employee” for the purposes of being able to make a claim you must have a contract of employment, a contract of apprenticeship, or a contract where you personally do the work for another individual. This contract can be in writing or orally.

Are you within the time limit?

To make a claim for religious/belief discrimination, you must submit it to the Employment Tribunal within three months starting from when the date of when the discriminating act took place. If the discrimination has been ongoing for a certain period then the three months starts from the end of that period.

Therefore, you are entitled to bring a claim for religious/belief discrimination if you are:

  1. an “employee” or fall into one of the above categories
  2. you have been directly or indirectly discriminated against because of your religion or beliefs, victimised or harassed; and
  3. are within the three month time limit.

Making a claim of Religious Discrimination

If you believe you have suffered from religious discrimination in the workplace, please contact us via the contact form on the right hand side of this page.