Religion in the workplace has been a common topic of discussion in countries with an ample amount of people from different religions. It has created an ample amount of controversy and more and more people are beginning to find that religion isn’t a topic that should be brought into the workplace. With that being said, more countries are denying employees and employers the opportunity to wear or display religious symbols in the workplace as a sign of respect for people of other religions. Although this isn’t accepted by many cultures throughout the world, it is the best way to avoid conflict.
The United Kingdom and the Crucifix
One of the most notable situations in today’s society is when the United Kingdom went before the European Court of Human Rights and decided that they wanted to support the ban of employees and employers being able to wear a crucifix as a piece of religious jewelry. There have been dozens of employees that have lost their careers as a result of refusing to take their religious jewelry off at work. This could lead to termination as a result of the company’s dress code being violated.
Canada and Religion in the Workplace
In terms of Canada and their acceptance of religion in the workplace, the country has decided that employers are required to accommodate the religion of a specific worker until undue hardship comes forth. This is an aspect of the Canadian Human Rights Act, meaning that it is relatively impossible for a company to decide to change their rules as religion in the workplace is defended in a legal binding document.
Health and Safety
Another aspect that needs to be taken into consideration when determining whether religion is acceptable in the workplace or not is if there are any risks to the health and safety of the person and others around them. If an individual decides to adorn religious jewelry and they work in an environment where they are surrounded by dangerous machinery, it could cause a serious accident. In the event of this situation, the company should consider creating a no-jewelry rule to prevent accidents from happening. Though, unfortunately, some people may see this as a discriminatory rule, it is in fact a rule to protect their health.
The best way to accommodate all different religions in the workplace is for companies to be flexible and accepting of every employee and employer, regardless of their religious preferences.
Keith Miller has over 25 years of experience as a CEO and serial entrepreneur. As an entrepreneur, he has founded several multi-million dollar companies. As a writer, Keith's work has been mentioned in CIO Magazine, Workable, BizTech, and The Charlotte Observer. If you have any questions about the content of this blog post, then please send our content editing team a message here.