Updated Thursday morning
The Equality and Human Rights Commission has applied to the European Court of Human Rights to be allowed to intervene in several recent cases concerning religious discrimination in the workplace.
The EHRC has issued this press release: Commission proposes ‘reasonable accommodation’ for religion or belief is needed.
Judges have interpreted the law too narrowly in religion or belief discrimination claims, the Commission has said in its application to intervene in four cases at the European Court of Human Rights all involving religious discrimination in the workplace.
If given leave to intervene, the Commission will argue that the way existing human rights and equality law has been interpreted by judges is insufficient to protect freedom of religion or belief.
It will say that the courts have set the bar too high for someone to prove that they have been discriminated against because of their religion or belief; and that it is possible to accommodate expression of religion alongside the rights of people who are not religious and the needs of businesses…
The National Secular Society is unhappy, see Equality Commission determined to push religion up the hierarchy of rights.
So is the British Humanist Association, see Equality Commission’s intervention in Christian legal cases ’wholly disproportionate’.
And Stonewall is deeply disturbed, see Stonewall response to EHRC statement on religious ‘discrimination’ cases.
Some further reactions:
Andrew Copson at Cif belief The EHRC’s stance on religious rights undermines its credibility
Patrick Strudwick The Equality and Human Rights Commission’s choice is beyond belief