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Religion

Author: Shelagh Prosser

US Consultant: Julie DiMauro

Summary

  • Employers that observe best practice with respect to employees' religious preferences can build a more diverse, respectful and motivated workforce. See The Relationship Between Religion and Work and The Importance of Religious Sensitivity in the Workplace.
  • Employers should handle matters relating to religion on a case-by-case basis, through discussion with the employees concerned and careful consideration of all relevant factors. See General Principles of Effective Practice.
  • By putting together policies that set out the organization's values and expected behavior of employees with respect to religion, employers can promote a culture of respect for religious diversity. See Policies and Procedures.
  • To ensure that employees are aware of the key issues surrounding religion and that managers are confident to deal with issues relating to religion, employers should train employees and back up the training with regular updates. See Raising Awareness.
  • Employers can take steps to target a more diverse pool of candidates. See The Recruitment Process.
  • Agreeing to a request for annual leave or flexible working to enable an employee to practice his or her religion could make a big difference to the employee. See Time Off for Religious Observance and Flexible Working.
  • Being clear about the tasks that a job involves during the recruitment process and consulting with employees about any changes to a job role can help to minimize conflict between the needs of the business and an individual's religion. See Roles and Responsibilities.
  • When implementing a dress code, employers should consult staff and consider carefully the purpose of the code and whether or not it should apply to all staff and at all times. See Uniform and Dress Codes.
  • Employers should be sensitive to employees' needs pertaining to their religion at workplace events and training, including their dietary, prayer and cultural requirements. Employers can help employees who are required to fast to feel comfortable at work. See Dietary Requirements and Fasting; Training and Work-Related Events.
  • A policy on harassment should set clear standards of acceptable behavior and stipulate that transgression can be a disciplinary offence. Employers should providing training for managers on how to handle complaints of harassment. See Harassing Behavior.
  • Employers should monitor candidates and employees to establish the strength of their policies and practices on religion and implement improvements. See Monitoring.