I have a query in relation to an employee of the Muslim faith who uses the staff canteen to pray during working hours. The canteen space is limited and this activity is now causing difficulty for other staff that may have a scheduled break at the same time. What is the responsibility of the employer to accommodate staff who wish to practice their faith during work hours?Posted in : First Tuesday Q&A ROI on 7 July 2015
Under the Employment Equality Acts 1998 to 2011 (the “EEA”) employers cannot treat an employee less favourably than other employees on grounds of religion. The EEA provide for a limited exception to this general rule, in that religious institutions (including schools and hospitals) may discriminate against employees in order to protect their religious ethos.
In a high-profile case in 2013, the European Court of Human Rights (the “ECHR”), recognised that the refusal of an employer to allow a person to wear a religious symbol constituted an interference with their right to manifest their
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