Thinking Anglicans

EHRC consultation on Religion or Belief reveals widespread confusion

The Equality and Human Rights Commission has published its report on the consultation which it launched last August.

The press release is headlined: Largest ever consultation reveals widespread confusion over laws protecting religion or belief.

Mark Hammond, CEO of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, said:

“How the law deals with religion and other beliefs in work, in providing services and in public debate has become a matter of considerable controversy. We carried out this consultation to gather first-hand evidence of how people deal with this issue in the workplace and in service delivery.

“What we found from the thousands of responses we received was a complex picture of different opinions and experiences. However, what came out strongly was the widespread confusion about the law, leading to some resentment and tensions between groups and anxiety for employers who fear falling foul of what they see as complicated equality and human rights legislation.

“We also found examples of organisations which had taken a constructive approach to dealing with issues of religion or belief, with employees providing positive experiences of diverse and inclusive workplaces. We’ll use this evidence as we examine how effective the law is in this area and develop guidance which we hope will help everyone address some of the issues which have come out of the consultation.”

The report itself is introduced from this page.

The Commission has found that there is widespread confusion over the laws protecting religion or belief in the UK. Our new report ‘Religion or belief in the workplace and service delivery’ contains the findings from a call for evidence launched in August 2014. The aim was to explore the direct and personal experiences of employees and service users concerning religion or belief, as well as the views of employers, service providers, relevant organisations and the legal and advice sectors.

Nearly 2,500 people responded to our call for evidence, making it the largest ever carried out by the Commission. Respondents included people holding a wide range of religious beliefs as well as humanists and atheists, and covered employers and service providers across the public and private sectors….

The full text of the report is on this page.

And there is an executive summary here.

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