The Equality and Human Rights Commission has launched a major call for evidence from individuals and organisations about how their religion or belief, or that of other people, may have affected their experiences in the workplace and in using the services and facilities they need in everyday life. People can give their feedback at www.equalityhumanrights.com/religion.
The Commission wants to gather as much information as possible from members of the public, employers, providers of services, legal advisors and religion or belief organisations. This will be used to assess how employers and service providers are taking religion or belief into account and the impact this has on individuals. The work covers all faiths and beliefs and experiences in England, Scotland and Wales. We want to hear about the issues people face and how they find solutions. The Commission will also use the evidence as part of its work looking at how effective the current legislation is proving in practice.
Despite a number of high profile legal cases involving the manifestation of religion or belief, very little is known about how frequently these issues occur in practice…
More background on the policy objective Shared understandings: a new EHRC strategy to strengthen understanding of religion or belief in public life.
Some further detail is below the fold.
Andrew Brown has written about this consultation: This attempt to redefine religious bias marks a shift from hard secularism
The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) has launched a consultation on whether it is handling religious equality appropriately. This marks a significant unease with the way in which equality law has dealt with Christians, in particular since 2010. The central question is whether there is anything more to Christian discontent than whingeing about the progress of gay rights…
…So the Evangelical Alliance, which claims to represent 2 million Christians, is asking its followers to write to the EHRC about their concerns. Given the strength of evangelical feeling against homosexuality, this could result in a lot of letters. The difficulty is that most of the alliance’s cases appear to the outside world to be Christians claiming that unless they can discriminate against gay people, they are themselves the victims of discrimination. This is not a view with wide appeal…
More detail from the EHRC
The Commission’s aim is to gather as much information as possible from individuals, employers, providers of services, legal advisors and religion or belief organisations. We will then use this information to assess how employers and service providers are taking religion or belief into account and what impact this has on individuals. The Commission knows that, despite a number of high profile cases involving the manifestation of religion or belief, very little is known about how frequently issues related to religion or belief occur in practice.
To address this information gap we want to hear about the issues people face and how they find solutions to them. Particularly we want to hear about both negative and positive experiences which have occurred since 2010, including: