New guidance advises bosses to respect atheists and to “consider seriously” adapting work duties on faith grounds
Pagans, vegetarians and ecologists should have their beliefs respected at work along with mainstream faiths, according to European advice to bosses.
It means druids will be able to take leave to observe rituals and make pilgrimages to mystical sites such as Stonehenge.
Christian nurses will be allowed to pray for patients, Muslims to take leave to visit Mecca, vegetarians can refuse to handle meat and sit on leather chairs and ecologists refuse to fly.
The new guidance also advises bosses to respect atheists and to “consider seriously” adapting work duties on faith grounds.
But the Equality and Human Rights Commission guidelines, drafted after several rulings in the European Court of Human Rights, were slammed yesterday.
Andrew Copson, chief executive of the British Humanist Society, said: “It is right to accommodate people’s needs in a civilised society but we have to make sure we draw the right line. It’s not fair to accommodate an employee if others have to take extra shifts or if their workplace becomes uncomfortable through others pushing their religion.
“The right to manifest beliefs can’t trump the rights of others.”
The guidance comes after the court in Strasbourg, France, ruled in January the UK was wrong to stop Christian BA check-in clerk Nadia Eweida, 61, wearing a cross at work.
The commission’s chief executive Mark Hammond said: “It provides advice and clarification to help employers avoid costly and divisive legal action.”
Merlin @ Stonehenge
The Stonehenge News Blog