Ramadan begins this Friday (26 May) but new research shows that many employers don’t know how to observe it appropriately.
Research carried out by ComRes found that three per cent of workers in Britain say they have been discriminated against because of their religion or belief.
That equates to approximately one million people!
Belief At Work, the first study of its kind into faith in the British workplace, states that many people report feeling uncomfortable because of workplace culture.
This culture encourages humour at the expense of religious beliefs or makes it difficult to talk about prayer or attendance at church, mosque, synagogue or temple.
During Ramadan, some workplaces will have to address particular issues but many employers are not aware of how best to meet the requirements of the Equality Act 2010.
Diversity and inclusion expert Catherine Grinyer, who runs specialist consultancy Big Voice Communications, thinks that a lack of confidence and knowledge often holds back employers from properly observing religious festivals.
She said: "More often than not employers want to do the right thing when it comes to celebrating religious festivals at work, but many lack confidence and know-how, so they hold off giving it a go.
“As a result some employees can feel excluded from the mainstream corporate culture.
"Being aware of the variety of religious festivals your employees may be participating is an important starting point.
“Knowing how best to incorporate key religious dates in your internal and external communications takes planning and, crucially, consultation with employee groups or forums."
"In our experience language is the biggest barrier for employers to celebrating religious festivals in the workplace.
“Many are fearful of getting it wrong, and avoid saying anything at all. It's a downside of political correctness.
“The key is to make sure your HR and communications teams have the confidence and up-to-date knowledge to guide your organisation appropriately."
You can ensure your workplace adheres to the Equality Act 2010 by taking some simple steps. Contact Big Voice Communications now to discuss how you can benefit from our expert diversity and inclusion training and consultancy.
Email Catherine Grinyer now: [email protected]
VERCIDA works with over one hundred clients who are committed to creating an inclusive work environment. If you are an employer and interested in working with VERCIDA to promote your diversity and inclusion initiatives and attract the best candidates, please call 02037405973 or email [email protected] for more information.
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