State of the Art Report: Religion and the Workplace

Katayoun Alidadi
RELIGARE State of the Art Report

A Christian tram conductor seeks to wear a necklace with cross despite the no-jewelry company dress code, a Muslim saleswoman wants to wear a headscarf on the job even though her manager has stated this would be bad for business, factory workers request facilities separate from the locker rooms so they can pray during work breaks. These cases that have recently come up in various European countries illustrate that equality and non discrimination on the basis of religion, and freedom of religion in the workplace is of crucial importance in today‟s Europe.
Considering the time workers spend in the workplace and the increasing importance of religious identity amongst certain groups, potential tensions between professional and religious duties, and requests for de facto accommodations are bound to keep coming up. Thus, within the larger RELIGARE project a key role is set for the work package on religion and the workplace.
RELIGARE does not aim to „re-invent the wheel‟ but rather to add value to the field by filling perceived gaps in the existing research. The work being organised in different stages, this paper fits within the first status questionis phase where available materials are collected and reviewed. This paper makes a modest attempt to describe the available research and issues in the intersecting fields of labour law, religious freedom and non-discrimination.

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