A comparative legal study addressing religious or belief discrimination in employment and reasonable accommodations for employees’ religious or philosophical beliefs or practice

Katayoun Alidadi
RELIGARE Policy Brief

Challenges with the position of Islam have been most visible, prompting a number of states to adopt restrictive measures on religious dress, family life and places of worship.

Issues related to religion and belief have become increasingly topical in Europe’s workplaces, illustrating that the idea that religion or belief should remain confined to the private lives of individuals is untenable in present day Europe.

Cases from across Europe illustrate how some religious practices, beliefs and identities pervade various or all aspects of individual lives and that religion or belief is important to employees and employers in the workplace. The available European and national case law and sociological data show that tensions and conflicts have arisen with regard to religious dress and grooming requirements, opportunities to take time-off for employees to observe religious holidays and other practices and certain job tasks and conditions that run counter to some religious or philosophical rules and practices. These issues have arisen in both private and public sector employment.

This policy brief relates to both sectors of employment, but does not address in particular the case of churches and public or private organisations whose ethos is based on religion or belief.

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